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I leave today to attend the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico at the invitation of President Felipe Calderon. I will, thereafter, travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) at the invitation of President Dilma Rousseff.
G-20 Leaders will meet once again in the shadow of the economic crisis in the Eurozone and a faltering global economy. This situation in Europe is of particular concern as Europe accounts for a significant share of the global economy and is also India’s major trade and investment partner. Continuing problems there will further dampen global markets and adversely impact our own economic growth. It is our hope that European leaders will take resolute action to resolve the financial problems facing them.
The other issue of immediate concern is the need to revive global growth. It is imperative that the G-20 countries work in coordination to implement policies that promote sustained growth. India has been pursuing this objective in its capacity as the Co-Chair of the Working Group on the “Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth”. I will stress the need to ensure primacy of the development dimension in G-20 deliberations and the need to focus on investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth.
BRICS countries have been the new growth poles of the global economy. At the Fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi in March this year, BRICS Leaders agreed to work with the international community to ensure international policy coordination to maintain macroeconomic stability conducive to the healthy recovery of the global economy. As current Chair of BRICS, India will host an informal meeting of BRICS Leaders prior to the commencement of the G-20 Summit to exchange views on the agenda of the Summit.
We have come a long way since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Environmental concerns today occupy the centre-stage of global discourse. Yet, we are far from pursing a truly sustainable path towards development. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is an historic opportunity to give meaningful content to the paradigm of sustainable development. At its heart lies the imperative of moving away from a resource intensive development path while ensuring inclusive and balanced development for eradicating the grinding poverty that afflicts millions.
The Rio+20 Conference is likely to debate complex and contentious issues such as green economy and Sustainable Development Goals. I will emphasize that we must not dilute the cardinal principles of Rio 1992, particularly the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity, which have been at the core of global sustainable development efforts. We must acknowledge the continuing differences in levels of development across the world, and the need for provision of financial and technological support to the developing world if we are to work together as a global community to address our most pressing environmental challenges. India will work with like-minded countries to forge a consensus in this endeavour.
During my visit I look forward to separately meeting President Felipe Calderon, President Vladimir Putin, Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Wen Jiabao, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, President Boni Yayi and other leaders.