Port Blair: While highlighting India’s plans and priorities, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant on Saturday pitched for reforms in multilateral institutions where the alliance of multiple countries should pursue a common goal.
Kant was speaking at a meeting of the G20 Presidency held at the pristine Swaraj Dweep, popularly known as Havelock Island, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“The G20 sherpa told the delegates that priority should be inclusive and sustainable growth of climate finance,” a senior official who attended the meeting said.
The delegates – British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov, German envoy Dr P Ackermann, Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell and others – were briefed on substantive and logistical preparations for India’s forthcoming presidency.
Hinting at India’s fight during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kant highlighted how the country has become the pharmacy and vaccine capital of the world.
He also stressed the need for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and India’s digital transformation.
There are mainly 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform the world and some of the key areas include poverty eradication, zero hunger, better health infrastructure, gender equality, quality education, clean water, sanitation, clean and affordable energy and life below water.
During the meeting, the delegates were requested to play an active role as India wants its presidency to be reform-cum-action-oriented.
“We want all the countries to partner with us in this process,” Kant said while giving an overview of India’s achievement in the socio-economic sector.
At the event, tributes were paid to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks 14 years ago.
Commenting on terrorism, Kant urged all the countries to cooperate in fighting the menace.
“Let’s outcast those who are indulged in terrorism. The Ambassadors agreed to play a crucial role to end this menace. They all agreed on ruthless and firm action on terrorism,” Kant said.
In the morning, a yoga session was organised at Kala Patthar beach in Havelock island. After the session, they participated in a beach-cleaning activity.
They reached the island around 7.30 pm on Friday after a tour of Cellular Jail in Port Blair. Freedom fighters were lodged in that prison built by the British rulers in 1906.
Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, said, “Apt to hold this event in the beautiful & historic Swaraj Dweep, as India is on the cusp of taking over G20 Presidency from our neighbour across the Andaman Sea.” Earlier this month, during the Bali summit, Indonesia handed over the G20 Presidency to India for the coming year.
The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
Bagchi said that over 40 invitees were given detailed briefings on substantive and logistical preparations for India’s forthcoming presidency.
The delegates will depart from Port Blair for New Delhi at around 12.30 PM on Sunday.
The G20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union.
Locals have welcomed the Centre’s initiative to host the meeting in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, saying such events will help in the development of the archipelago.