Today, India begins its G20 presidency.
The previous 17 G20 presidencies delivered significant results – to ensure macroeconomic stability, rationalize international taxation, ease the debt burden of the countries, among many other results. We will take advantage of these results and build on them.
But as India takes on this important mantle, I ask myself – can the G20 go even further? Can we catalyze a fundamental mindset shift for the benefit of humanity as a whole?
I think we can.
Our mindset is shaped by our circumstances. Throughout history, mankind lived in scarcity. We fought for limited resources because our survival depended on denying them to others. Confrontation and competition – between ideas, ideologies and identities – became the norm.
Unfortunately, we remain trapped in the same zero-sum mindset even today. We see it when countries fight over territory or resources. We see it when supplies of essential goods are weaponized. We see it when vaccines are hoarded by a few, even as billions remain vulnerable.
Some might argue that confrontation and greed are simply human nature. I disagree. If humans were inherently selfish, what would explain the enduring appeal of so many spiritual traditions that advocate the fundamental unity of us all?
One such tradition, popular in India, sees all living beings, and even inanimate things, as composed of the same five basic elements – the panch tatva of earth, water, fire, air and space. Harmony between these elements – within us and between us – is essential to our physical, social and environmental well-being.
India’s G20 chairmanship will work to promote this universal sense of unity. Hence our theme – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.
This is not just a slogan. It takes into account recent changes in human conditions that we have collectively failed to appreciate.
Today we have the means to produce enough to meet the basic needs of all people in the world.
Today we do not have to fight for our survival – our era does not have to be war. It must not actually be one!
Today, the biggest challenges we face – climate change, terrorism and pandemics – cannot be solved by fighting each other, but only by acting together.
Fortunately, today’s technology also gives us the means to solve problems throughout humanity. The massive virtual worlds we live in today demonstrate the scalability of digital technologies.
India is home to one-sixth of humanity and with its vast diversity of languages, religions, customs and beliefs, India is a microcosm of the world.
With the oldest known traditions of collective decision-making, India contributes to the basic DNA of democracy. As the mother of democracy, India’s national consensus is forged not by dictation but by blending millions of free voices into one harmonious melody.
Today, India is the fastest growing major economy. Our citizen-centric governance model takes care of even our most marginalized citizens while nurturing the creative genius of our talented youth.
We have tried to make national development not an exercise in top-down governance, but rather a citizen-led ‘people’s movement’.
We have leveraged technology to create digital public goods that are open, inclusive and interoperable. These have delivered revolutionary advances in areas as diverse as social protection, financial inclusion and electronic payments.
For all these reasons, India’s experience can provide insight into possible global solutions.
During our G20 chairmanship, we will present India’s experiences, lessons learned and models as possible templates for others, especially the developing countries.
Our G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not only our G20 partners, but also our fellow travelers in the Global South, whose voices often go unheard.
Our priorities will focus on healing our ‘One Earth’, creating harmony in our ‘One Family’ and providing hope for our ‘One Future’.
To heal our planet, we will encourage a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle, based on India’s tradition of stewardship of nature.
To promote harmony in the human family, we will seek to depoliticize the global supply of food, fertilizer and medical products so that geopolitical tensions do not lead to humanitarian crises. As in our own families, those whose needs are greatest must always be our first concern.
To instill hope in our future generations, we will encourage an honest conversation among the most powerful countries – about mitigating the risks associated with weapons of mass destruction and increasing global security.
India’s G20 agenda will be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive.
Let us come together to make India’s G20 presidency one of healing, harmony and hope.
Let’s work together to shape a new paradigm – of human-centered globalization.
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Source: The Nordic Page