Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape urged PM Modi to be an active voice for the small island nations at global forums such as G20 and G7…reports Asian Lite News
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape on Monday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Pacific Islands nations consider the Indian premier as the leader of the Global South and will rally behind India’s leadership at international forums.
Highlighting the problems faced by Pacific Islands nations due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Marape said this while addressing the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit which was co-chaired by PM Modi. “We are victims of global powerplay… You (PM Modi) are the leader of Global South. We will rally behind your (India) leadership at global forums,” said Marape.
He pointed to the inflationary pressure on his country due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He said that Pacific Islands nations have to face the brunt of the war as they have high costs of fuel and power tariffs and suffer as a result of big nations at play in terms of geopolitics and power struggles.
“The issue of Ukraine war with Russia or Russia war with Ukraine rather, we import the inflation to our own small economies. These nations sitting before you, Mr Prime Minister (PM Modi), have high costs of fuel and power tariffs in their own countries and we suffer as a result of big nations at play in terms of geopolitics and the power struggles out there,” said Marape.
He urged PM Modi to be an active voice for the small island nations at global forums such as G20 and G7, adding, “You are the voice that can offer our issues at the highest as advanced economies discuss matters relating to economy, commerce, trade and geopolitics.”
Marape prompted India to use the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit to be the strong voice and advocate the challenges of the region.
“We ask you, using this moment where I am co-chairing and I speak for my small brother and sister nations of the Pacific. Whilst our land may be small and the number may be small, our area and space in the Pacific are big. The world uses for trade, commerce and movement,” added the Papua New Guinea PM.
He further urged PM Modi to be an advocate for Pacific Island nations, adding, “We want you to be an advocate for us. As you sit in those meetings and continue to fight for the rights of small emerging nations and emerging economies.”
“Our leaders will have a moment to speak to you. I want you, Mr Prime Minister, for you to spend time hearing them. And hopefully, at the end of these dialogues, may India and the Pacific’s relationship is entrenched and strengthened,” said Marape.
‘Large ocean countries, not small island states’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India believes in multilateralism and supports a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
PM Modi, while speaking at the forum also said that for him, the Pacific island nations are “large ocean countries and not small island states”.
He said that India is ready to share its experiences and capabilities with Pacific island countries without any hesitation.
“India is proud to be your development partner. You can count on India as a reliable partner. We are ready to share our experiences and capabilities with you without hesitation. We believe in multilateralism and support a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” PM Modi said.
Speaking on the impact of the Covid pandemic, the Prime Minister added that it was seen the most in the Global South.
“Challenges related to climate change, natural disasters, hunger, poverty and health were already there, now new problems are arising…I am happy that India stood by its friendly Pacific Island countries in times of difficulty,” PM Modi added.
India considers it its responsibility to convey the concerns of the Global South, their expectations and their aspirations to the world through the G20. This was my effort in the last two days at the G7 summit as well, he said. (ANI)