External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar shared views on contemporary challenges at the G-20 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in Matera, Italy, Yesterday. He said, Covid has impacted the fight against poverty, hunger and disease across the world. It has pushed back the global development agenda, increasing vulnerability in many societies.
Dr Jaishankar said, India is today at the forefront of the response, giving food support to 800 million citizens. He said, livelihood, health, digital access and climate action should now constitute the new developmental priorities.
The External Affairs Minister appreciated Italy for highlighting food security. He said, the Matera Declaration reflects the Indian concern for the welfare of small and medium farmers, promoting local food cultures and recognising agri-diversity. Dr Jaishankar interacted with 12 Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of the meeting.
During his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken he discussed the Indo-Pacific and the Afghan situation.
The External Affairs Minister had a productive meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Dr Jaishankar also spoke at the G20 session on Africa. He underlined India’s solidarity with Global South and respect for African priorities. He said, India will step up its digital cooperation in health, education and capacity building. The Minister said, India will work closely on health and food security, responding to the Covid impact. He said, India’s development projects will continue to progress, especially in power, water, agriculture and IT.