Africa-Press – Lesotho. New Delhi never looked so pretty, green, clean, and fresh. This is all due to G20 Summit to be held on September 9 and 10 at the spanking new Bharat Mandapam International Exhibition Convention Centre.
The global leaders attending this summit currently account for more than 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the global population. Thus, global attention will be focused on this mega event in New Delhi. No wonder the Indian government has planned the grand event meticulously.
The countdown started almost a year ago when pre-summit events for the ministers of these countries were held at 82 locations in 29 Indian states all over India from Kashmir to Goa to give the delegates a flavour of the rich and diverse culture of the country.
All this time the national capital was being decked up to host the 20 member heads of state, invited heads of state, heads on international organisations, among others.
First the venue, Bharat Mandapam, was built from scratch with the latest hi-tech communication systems, 12 massive plenary halls with seating capacity of 7000, an artificial lake, fountains and a humungous display of Indian cultural art and heritage. The biggest and most modern convention centre in the world, it is bound to attract appreciative attention.
The city infrastructure has been upgraded with new road tunnels near the venue, re-carpeting 60 roads leading to it, 680,000 potted plants on roadsides, 420,000 shrubs on 33 important roads, 80 flower boards, 150 fountains and 100 sculptures to greet the VVIP guests.
Security is a major priority with thousands of personnel on high alert, 400 PCR vans, 100 Quick Response Teams, Indian Air Force patrolling the no-fly zone for drones and special combat units at all major hotels with VVIP guests. All major hotels ate fully booked.
The five-star hotels which will host heads of state have been preparing for many months by upgrading their suites, getting their staff cleared by security authorities, creating new cuisine to suit international tastes and promoting millet in innovative dishes and sprucing up their overall ambience.
For urgent medical attention, 80 teams of doctors, 70 advanced ambulances and 60 other ambulances will be on duty round the clock with special arrangements at major hospitals to deal with emergencies.
To reduce traffic congestion, all schools, colleges, restaurants, banks, and business in the special areas near the venue have been closed for three days.
Extra traffic police have been deployed, hundreds of CCTV cameras have been installed on the relevant roads and three screening centres have been set up.
Among the top world leaders expected to attend are: President Joe Biden of USA, Prime Minister of UK Rishi Sunak, President of France Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister MBS or Mohamed bin Salman Al Saud, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Maloni, among other heads of state and other dignitaries.
The summit will conclude with the adoption of a G20 Leaders’ Declaration. The declaration will consist of priorities and other points discussed and agreed upon during the summit.
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov, who will represent his country, has announced that any mention of Ukraine which does not conform to Russian policy will be opposed.
US President Biden will promote the Western position on this war which leaves the host India on a tightrope. Despite the absence of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the G20 Summit will made a global impact.
India will emphasise its motto, Vasudhaiva Kutumakam, the Sanskrit slogan meaning One Earth, One Family, One Future. “India’s G20 Presidency will work to promote this universal sense of one-ness. Hence our theme – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, said PM Narendra Modi.
With Indian outreach for sharing Covid vaccine free of charge with 150+ developing countries during the epidemic, sending immediate relief to earthquake victims and the recent Chandrayan-3 launch to the South Pole of the moon and Aditya LI to the sun, India has garnered huge worldwide goodwill.
In an extensive interview with PTI a few days before the Summit, Prime Minister Modi said, “When the pandemic struck, the world understood that in addition to the economic challenges, there were also other important and immediate challenges impacting humanity.
“By this time, the world was already taking note of India’s human-centric model of development.
Whether it was economic growth, technological progress, institutional delivery, or social infrastructure, they were all being taken to the last mile, ensuring none was left behind.
“There was greater awareness of these massive strides being taken by India. It was acknowledged that the country which used to be seen just as a large market had become a part of the solutions to the global challenges.
“Looking at India’s experience, it was recognized that a human-centric approach works even during a crisis.
India’s response to the pandemic through a clear and coordinated approach, direct assistance to the most vulnerable using technology, coming up with vaccines and running the world’s largest vaccine drive, and sharing medicines and vaccines with nearly 150 countries were noted and well appreciated.
“By the time India became the president of G20, our words and vision for the world were not being taken merely as ideas but as a roadmap for the future,” he said.
He added, “Africa is a top priority for us even within the G20. One of the first things we did during our G20 Presidency was to hold the Voice of the Global South summit, which had enthusiastic participation from Africa.
On the touchy issue of global conflicts in the context of Ukraine war, he said, “All conflicts need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. . .
We recognize we all have our positions and perspectives on various global issues. We have repeatedly emphasized that a divided world will find it difficult to fight common challenges.
In addition to conflicts, these challenges include climate change, sustainable economic development including combating inflation worldwide, cybercrime with deep fake news, trade subsidies, women’s role in development, among other issues.
Most of all, global opinion on India will be radically altered after the summit. As PM Modi outlines, ‘For a long time, India was perceived as a nation of over one billion hungry stomachs.
But now, India is being seen as a nation of over one billion aspirational minds, more than two billion skilled hands, and hundreds of millions of young people. We are not only the most populous country in the world but also the nation with the largest youth population.