Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s departure statement prior to his visit to G8-G5 Summit in Italy today:
“I am leaving today for Italy to attend the Summit meeting of the G-8 and G-5 countries being hosted in the city of L’Aquila on July 9-10 by the Italian Presidency of the G-8. I will also attend a meeting of the leaders of the G5 group of countries (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa). This will be an occasion for projecting India’s views on major global issues relating to the world economic and financial crisis and its impact on development, food security, energy security and climate change, international trade negotiations and reform of international institutions.
As part of the G-8 related events, I will also participate in the meetings of the Major Economies Forum on Trade Matters and Climate Change, as well as a meeting on food security being organized by Italy with the participation of several African nations.
The global financial and economic slowdown that we are witnessing is particularly detrimental for the development objectives of developing countries such as India. This has not been a crisis of our making, but we have had to bear its consequences. The slowdown in the advanced economies has affected our exports, strengthened protectionists sentiments and impacted credit and capital flows. We would therefore like to see a concerted and well coordinated global response to address systemic failures and to stimulate the real economy. In the longer run, we would like to see a much higher level of stability and sustainability in the growth patterns of the developed world, and in international financial governance.
The issues of food security, energy security and climate change are closely interlinked. They have to be approached as a single undertaking if we are to give meaning to the concept of sustainable development.
Climate change will be an important subject of discussion. It is the developing countries that are the worst affected by climate change. What we are witnessing today is the consequence of over two centuries of industrial activity and high consumption lifestyles in the developed world. They have to bear this historical responsibility. India will actively participate in the international negotiations on climate change within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Bali Action Plan.
During my visit, I look forward to having bilateral meetings with the leaders of Italy, Angola, Germany, Japan and the UK”.