US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti

US Envoy Garcetti Hails India’s Developmental Journey

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti

Praising India’s developmental journey, US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, said that anyone who wants to “see the future” should come to India. He called it a “great privilege” to head the US mission in India.

In his address at the ‘Impact & Innovation: 25 Years of IPE Global Making Development a Ground Reality’ event in Delhi, Garcetti said that if anyone wants to work on the future, they should come to India.

Eric Garcetti said, “We have the most beautiful view, I think, of this ballroom of the passion, of the belief, of the purpose of the peace that you live in, the work that is done by IPE and the collaboration between so many of us that are lucky to call India our home for a period of our lives. I often say, if you want to see the future, come to India. If you want to feel the future, come to India. And if you want to work on the future, come to India. And I have the great privilege of being able to do that every single day as a leader of the United States mission.”

US envoy recalled that he had learned a saying, ‘Alag Desh Alag Rivaaj’ which means another nation, another custom as each place has different customs. However, he said that they are now working together towards one vision.

Garcetti said, “When I was studying Hindi as an 18 year old, I learned a saying, ‘Alag Desh Alag Rivaaj’, it was kind of another country, another custom. And the saying we have this in many languages is, you know, do in Rome, as the Romans do. In other words, every place is different.

And those customs are unique. And while that is true, certainly the customs of America are different than those of India.”

“Even within our countries, the custom from one town or city to the next is different, one state to the next is different. I think increasingly the work that we are doing here, that we are privileged to do is the American mission. We now feel more that it is do desh and there is ek Dil, one heart, that when we come together, it is no longer two different systems, but one vision,” he added.

Praising IPE for having gender equality at the panel discussion, he said, “We want to make sure that whenever we sponsor something and participate in something, we don’t just give lip service to the idea of gender equity, but we try to embody that. And IPE has done that so beautifully here today and stirred my heart in looking at the stories of the women that we are privileged to work with alongside you and the government of India, to further health equality, to further the idea that economic opportunity shouldn’t be defined by your gender or your gender geography or the wealth of your parents, but by the dreams in your heart.”

“Last thing I’ll say, because instead of going through all the programs that we have together, and we often talk about the four p’s, that peace, prosperity, our planet and our people define the work of the United States mission here, together with our partners across the globe, with fellow diplomats and missions that are here, and of course, led by the Indian government. We don’t come here to teach and preach. We come here to listen and to learn. And when asked to have the privilege to work alongside you, whether it’s in the digital domain, whether it’s in the climate action that we take, we know that the work we have is urgent and the success of it has to run through every girl and woman in this country and around the world, in every marginalized community.”

Former Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant praised IPE Global for its work, calling it “top class” as it works with a tremendous amount of passion, energy and dynamism across various sectors. He mentioned that he has worked with IPE on learning outcomes, improving health outcomes and nutrition.

In his speech at the same event, Kant said, “In my long evenings in government, I’ve had the pleasure of working with all the top consulting agencies across the world. And I must say that IPE global is really top class. It’s top class because it works with a tremendous amount of passion, it works with a tremendous amount of energy and dynamism and it works across a range of sectors where you make a difference to human lives.”

“It’s worked with me on learning outcomes, on improving health outcomes, on nutrition. They worked with me on improving, doing the holistic development of islands in India. And every time I can tell you that they surpass any other consulting agency because they actually believe in delivering on ground. So all credit to Ashwajit and his team. His team is really, really, truly brilliant and outstanding,” he added.

Kant expressed happiness that IPE Global is focused on the South-South, recalling that India faced several challenges during its G20 Presidency. He stated that there was a challenge of slowdown of global growth.

Highlighting the challenges faced by India during its G20 Presidency, he said, “I’m truly delighted that your focus is on South-South because when India did the G20 presidency, we faced several challenges. There was a challenge of the slowdown of global growth. There was a challenge of the sustainable development goals instead of progressing having regressed, there was a massive challenge of climate action and climate finance. You know, we’re facing huge challenge of earth having surviving, but all of us not surviving at all because of fire, floods, famines and the temperatures rising. And we faced huge challenge of inequity in the world.”

Amitabh Kant noted that India’s G20 Presidency was very focused on the Global South as 70 per cent of the growth today, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), comes from the Global South.

He said, “India’s presidency was very focused on the Global South. It was focused on the Global South because, according to IMF, 70 per cent of the growth today is coming from the Global South. And the next two decades, almost two thirds of the global growth is going to come from Global South. And that’s for one simple reason, is, the demographics are in favour of the Global South. The countries of the Global South are going to see a very young population with very low dependency burden, whereas the rest of the world is going to be aging.”

He said India was focused on being the voice of the Global South. He noted that PM Narendra Modi had the first interaction with Global South nations and India shaped its G20 priorities as per the Global South.

Amitabh Kant said, “And therefore, we focused on being the voice of the Global South. And the Prime Minister, as the leader of the G20, actually had the first interaction with all the Global South countries. We shaped our priorities according to the Global South. And we worked around to achieve consensus on the Global South.”

“And we made our presidency very ambitious, inclusive, very decisive and action oriented. And we worked towards making African Union a very integral part of G 20. And India actually made the G20 as G21. And by doing so, it demonstrated that G20 will actually cover almost 85 per cent of the global population. It will cover almost close to about 80 per cent of the global GDP and almost about 75 per cent of the global trade. And therefore, it made G 20 very inclusive, but it made GDP the most prominent multilateral body in the world,” he added.

Amitabh Kant noted that multilateralism works with consensus and the challenge for India was to reach consensus on issues of accelerating the pace of SDGs, reforming multilateral institutions that were designed in the post Bretton wood period for another world and are not designed for the Global South. He stated that the challenge for India was also to bring in green development at the centre stage and how the use of technology and digital public infrastructure could be used to accelerate the pace of growth in the Global South.

He said, “The challenge for us was that 4 billion people do not have a digital identity in the Global South. Two billion people do not even have a bank account and 133 countries of the world today do not have a digital public infrastructure. But we were able to bring consensus on all these issues. But the most critical of which was to bring consensus on women led development. And we had huge challenges on all these because our belief was that if half the world comprises of women, you can’t make the world grow without women and putting them into leadership position.”

Praising US for its continuous support for India during its G20 Presidency, Kant said, “We had several challenges during G20. But one country which stood with us was the United States of America. All through our G20, United States of America always said that India must succeed in bringing consensus on a range of challenges that we were confronted with not merely these challenges but the challenge of geopolitical crisis of Russia, Ukraine and we were able to bring leadership and bring consensus on many of these issues thanks to the United States of America.”

In September of this year, India successfully hosted the G20 summit in the national capital, hosting over 40 global leaders and their delegations. The inclusion of the African Union as a permanent G20 member was a major and historic takeaway from India’s presidency.

At the Leader’s Summit, the New Delhi Declaration was adopted unanimously with full consensus. A major standout of the declaration was bringing all global powers on the same page and forging consensus on an issue as divisive as the Russia-Ukraine war.

Throughout India’s presidency, raising the voice of Global South and developing nations was at the forefront of New Delhi’s agenda. India’s theme for the G20 Presidency was also ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, whose Sanskrit translation goes as ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. (ANI)

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