MUMBAI: The world must cooperate to tackle the greatest challenges of climate change, terrorism, and pandemics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday as India began its year-long presidency of the Group of 20 (G20).
The Ukraine conflict, which started with a Russian invasion in February, dominated a two-day G20 summit in Indonesia last month, to the frustration of some members that wanted more attention on global economic woes.
“Today, we do not need to fight for our survival - our era need not be one of war. Indeed, it must not be one,” Modi said in a declaration published in Indian newspapers to mark the start of the G20 presidency.
“Today, the greatest challenges we face - climate change, terrorism, and pandemics - can be solved not by fighting each other, but only by acting together.” His comment on war echoed a remark he made to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a regional conference in September, when he told him now was not a time for war, widely interpreted as a mild rebuke of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Modi, in the Thursday declaration, said India would aim to depoliticise the global supply of food, fertilizers and medical products, so that geo-political tensions do not lead to global disruptions.
“As in our own families, those whose needs are the greatest must always be our first concern,” Modi said.