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Jaishankar presents India as 'Vishwa Mitra' at NAM Summit, pushes for reformed multilateralism

Jaishankar noted that India's step to provide G20 membership to the African Union should inspire other countries towards reformed multilateralism. He also presented perspectives from India "guided by the belief in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the world is a family".

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Kampala, Uganda Published on: January 20, 2024 13:26 IST
EAM Jaishankar, NAM summit, Uganda
Image Source : S JAISHANKAR/X External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressing the NAM Summit in Uganda

NAM Summit: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday asserted India's unwavering commitment as 'Vishwa Mitra' (friend of the world) to global solidarity and cooperation and underlined India's global outreach and extensive contributions to the changing world order. He also noted that the world is facing new forms of inequality and a multipolar world with a reformed United Nations is highly required.

Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Uganda, the EAM said, "India demonstrates this commitment through 600 significant projects in 78 nations. And each one of them respects the choice of our partners. Insofar as Africa is concerned, 300 projects and 45,000 training slots are an expression of our solidarity This emphasises India's role as a friend to the world, or "Vishwa Mitra," willing to share its expertise and resources for mutual progress."

He detailed India's steps towards transforming global order, such as the inclusion of the African Union (AU) in the G20, that should inspire reformed multilateralism. 

 "When COVID struck, we shared vaccines with 100 nations while still vaccinating our own. As natural disasters happened, we have often been first responders for the developing world. In chairing the G20, we chose to convene and draw strength from the Global South. As Vishwa Mitra (friend of the world) India will always be there, to share," he said.

World struggling with new forms of inequality

Jaishankar also noted that the world is struggling with "new forms of inequity and domination" and called for a multipolar world with a reformed United Nations. He also presented perspectives from India "guided by the belief in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the world is a family".

"We have all been ravaged by the Covid pandemic whose scars will take generations to heal. There are conflicts underway whose repercussions are felt far and wide. Gaza, in particular, is the focus of our concern," the minister said, adding that climate change is increasingly and more regularly disruptive and there are a few who have not felt its impact.

"The triad of debt, inflation and growth challenges also weigh heavily on the development... We may have overthrown the yoke of colonialism, but we struggle with new forms of inequity and domination. In the era of globalisation, there are economic concentrations that treat the rest of the world as simply markets or resources," Jaishankar said.

"A multipolar world with a reformed United Nations at its core is key. Economic decentralisation with greater regional production is so as well. But we must also press for cultural rebalancing where all heritage is mutually respected," he added.

The External Affairs Minister further spoke on creating regional economic hubs, resilient supply chains, predictable mobility, trusted data flows, people-centric policies with sustainable lifestyles, as well as addressing food, energy and health security and women-led development.

Jaishankar on Israel-Hamas war

Jaishankar remarked that the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, triggered in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, requires a "sustainable solution that gives immediate relief" to the most vulnerable population. He also underscored that terrorism and hostage-taking are unacceptable acts.

Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Uganda, Jaishankar said, "Right now, the conflict in Gaza is understandably uppermost in our minds. This humanitarian crisis requires a sustainable solution that gives immediate relief to those most affected. We must also be clear that terrorism and hostage-taking are unacceptable. At the same time, international humanitarian law must always be respected by all States. It is also imperative that conflict does not spread within or beyond the region."

The external affairs minister advocated a two-state solution where the Palestinian people can live within secure borders. "Our collective endeavours should focus on making this realisable," he added. His remarks come as Israel's operations in Gaza have killed over 24,000 Palestinians and reduced the Palestinian enclave to ruins as people face crisis of water, electricity, food and medical aid.

The NAM is a forum of 120 countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The 19th NAM Summit under Uganda's leadership was held under the theme 'Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence' and brought together these developing countries on a platform of crucial historic significance.

(with inputs from agencies)

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