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Modi to attend second session of G20 summit today; focus on climate, environment

Modi to attend second session of G20 summit today; focus on climate, environment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the second session of the G20 summit in Italy’s Rome, which will be held on the subject of climate change and the environment on Sunday.

Modi, who is currently in Italy, will conclude his two-day trip to the country traveling next to Glasgow in the United Kingdom. Modi will be in Glasgow to attend the COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which begins on October 31, according to the official schedule.

The second session of the G20 summit, focusing on climate and the environment, is being seen as an important stepping stone to the COP26 climate summit.

At the first G-20 Summit session on Saturday, Modi had said India is ready to produce over 5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses next year to help the world in the fight against the pandemic.

He asserted it was necessary that the WHO approves Indian vaccines at the earliest.

On the sidelines of the summit, Modi interacted with world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron. The leaders exchanged pleasantries and showcased a spirit of camaraderie, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, briefing reporters on the prime minister’s engagements in Rome.

Shringla said Modi will attend an event hosted by Biden on “Supply Chain Resilience” and hold other bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit on Sunday.

‘One Earth, One Health’

Modi also stressed the ‘One Earth, One Health’ vision of a collaborative approach in dealing with the pandemic. The prime minister in his intervention at the session on “global economy and global health” also flagged the issue of facilitating international travel and talked about the mechanism of mutual recognition of vaccine certification as a means of achieving this, Shringla added.

The decision is aimed at ensuring that companies pay a certain amount of tax in countries they are located in, Shringla said.

Shringla said the prime minister stressed the need for facilitating international travel and spoke about having a mechanism of mutual recognition of vaccine certification as a means for this. Noting that the WHO approval for the emergency use authorisation for Covaxin, India’s indigenous vaccine, is pending.

India suggested that a nod for the jab will help India assist other countries.

Modi also invited Pope Francis to visit India as he called on the head of the Catholic Church at the Vatican in their first-ever one-to-one meeting.

At the Vatican, Modi was accompanied by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

It was the first-ever one-to-one meeting between Modi and Pope Francis. Briefing reporters on Prime Minister Modi’s historic meeting with the 84-year-old Pontiff, Shringla said the two leaders did not discuss the exact dates of the papal visit.

Apart from Biden and Macron, Modi met his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Foreign Minister Jaishankar also met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday, discussing issues relating to the bilateral strategic partnership and updating each other on “important regional concerns”.

“A very good meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinkien in Rome on sidelines of G20 Summit. Discussed a wide gamut of issues relating to our partnership. Updated each other on important regional concerns,” Jaishankar tweeted along with a photograph of himself with the US Secretary of State.

The meeting took place amidst growing international concern over China’s aggressive moves in the Indo-Pacific region.

(With inputs from agencies)

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