G20 Summit: PM Modi calls COVID-19 the biggest challenge since World War 2

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On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the G20 Summit; that the corona virus pandemic is an important turning point in the history of humanity; and the biggest challenge the world is facing since World War II.

Modi also called for a new global index for the post-pandemic world; that comprises four key elements “creation of a vast talent pool, ensuring that technology reaches all segments of the society, transparency in systems of governance; and dealing with mother Earth with a spirit of trusteeship.” The Prime Minister said, “Based on this, the G20 can lay the foundation of a new world.”

G20 Summit: PM Modi calls COVID-19 the biggest challenge since World War 2
The Hindu

Saturday was the first day of the 15th G20 summit, which is being hosted by Saudi Arabia this year; and is centred around the theme “Realizing Opportunities of 21st Century for All.” Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union are the 20 countries that are part of the grouping.

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With the corona virus pandemic overshadowing this year’s event, the usual in-person meeting was replaced by a virtual gathering of speeches and declarations. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among the world leaders who joined Modi via video conferencing to discuss the global impact of the pandemic.

In a press release, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Modi urged; world leaders at the summit to shift their focus from capital and finance; to multi-skilling and reskilling to create a “vast human talent pool”. The prime minister said, “This would not only enhance the dignity of citizens; but would make out citizens more resilient to face the crisis.” He also called for greater transparency in governance systems; which will “inspire our citizens to deal with shared challenges and enhance their confidence”.

The prime minister briefly spoke about climate change as well, saying the world; needs to deal with the environment; and nature as “trustees rather than owners”, and work towards a “holistic and healthy lifestyle”. The benchmark for this principle could be a “Per Capita Carbon Footprint” he told leaders.

Noting that “work from anywhere” is a new normal in the post-COVID world; Modi also suggested the creation of a “G20 Virtual Secretariat” as a follow-up and documentation repository. In a series of tweets, Modi thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the g20 Summit successfully and said his discussions with the world leaders were “very fruitful”. He said, “Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic.”

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