Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined the importance of looking at the concerns of the small and island states in the crucial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, during its first day which is underway in London.
India announced a number of initiatives in the direction through doubling of contribution for Common Fund for Sustainable Development Goals, taking up small projects in the small and island countries, capacity building and training programmes in areas including trade, cricket and skill development.
Briefing media in London last night, after the formal executive sessions, Secretary West, Ministry of External Affairs, Ruchi Ghanshyam said that, India focused on achieving sustainable development goals and climate change issues during its interventions at the CHOGM. Prime Minister Modi emphasised the need for catering the interests of small states like trade, youth and concerns on crime, skill and training needs.
During a series of bilateral interactions that the Prime Minister held with leaders of various member-countries including Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Gambia, Trindad and Tobago and Mauritius mainly focussed on development, maritime and security concerns of the small states.
Mr Modi will interact with the Commonwealth leaders another time during the retreat of the CHOGM where the leaders will interact on a number of issues on an informal manner. The Prime Minister will continue his bilateral interactions with leaders of member countries.
As per information received, India has been playing crucial role in setting the agenda for the future course of commonwealth. At the same time, UK also assertively working together with India in rejuvenation of commonwealth. Prime Minister Modi is the only leader to get an opportunity to have bilateral meetings twice with his UK counterpart Theresa May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II during his three day visit to UK.
India has made it clear through the prime Minister’s bilateral and multilateral engagement with a number of states to bring member-relevant issues into more focus besides its core issues of shared values, inheritance in language, culture and the rule of law, respect for all states and people-in tune with the changing global scenario.
Especially with more than 60 per cent of the commonwealth population is of 30 years age, the youth issues have been brought into the centre stage once again. India stood in the front row in extending training, imparting skills and offering opportunities on number of youth related issues.
Mr Modi will leave for Berlin on the third and last leg of his three nation visit to have bilateral meeting with German Chancellor.