Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s opening remarks at the Press Conference of G-5 leaders in Italy:
“Your Excellency President Calderon, President Lula of Brazil, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Dai Bingjao, Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,
I am very happy to be here in the beautiful town of L’Aquila, which has recovered remarkably from the devastating earthquake that struck the area in April.
In our meeting today we covered a large agenda and I thank President Calderon for his efforts in making the discussions fruitful and productive of results.
The developing countries have been the most affected by the global financial and economic crisis. We discussed how we could contribute to strengthening the green shoots of recovery. It is only through an inclusive approach that a collective global effort can be truly effective.
We will stress tomorrow the importance of maintaining adequate flow of finance to the developing countries and also of keeping markets open by resisting protectionist pressures.
The developing countries are also the worst affected by high food prices. We agreed that agriculture and food security need to be placed at the core of the international agenda paying particular attention to the concerns of the small and marginal farmers. As responsible members of the international community, we recognize our obligation to preserve and protect our environment. But climate change cannot be addressed by perpetuating the poverty of the developing countries.
The concept of sustainable development has so far been a buzz word. We need to evolve a coherent strategy of growth that brings about a higher standard of living without harming the environment.
Technology has to be a key element in our global strategy to meet the challenge of climate change. India in collaboration with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs will be hosting a conference on technology development and transfer related to climate change on 22nd October in New Delhi. The objective is to promote the collaborative development, deployment, dissemination and transfer of climate friendly technologies in a rapid and widespread manner.
The G-5 Declaration reflects many of the concerns and positions of developing countries and have been admirably summarized by President Calderon. These need to be taken into account in shaping global responses to global challenges. We would like to engage in a dialogue with our developed country partners on an equal footing.
India looks forward to working with the G 5 as we begin our dialogue with the G 8 countries tomorrow.
I would like in conclusion to thank our host Prime Minister Berlusconi and the people of Italy for their warm reception and hospitality.”