UN chief agrees to support India in its NSG bid
In a welcome development for India, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would help New Delhi in its bid to get a seat on table of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Guterres met PM Modi on the sidelines of G7 Summit, which was hosted by France in the town of Biarritz. Here are more details.
PM Modi explained why India should get NSG membership
PM Modi is learned to have told Guterres that India is taking steps towards clean energy including investment-intensive nuclear power. Briefing press about the meeting between both of them, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said PM Modi told Guterres an NSG membership was essential for building investors' confidence. He said Guterres was "very enthusiastic" about PM Modi's leadership on climate change.
Guterres was concerned about India's coal dependence
Reportedly, Guterres criticized India's dependence on coal as an energy source, especially when the country has been talking about climate change. PM Modi then explained to Guterres that India was moving towards renewable energy. He also apprised him about India's initiative to put an end to single-use plastic. Further, Gokhale said Guterres understood India's position and was ready to help.
According to Gokhale, PM Modi discussed idea with Guterres
"One of the ideas he (PM Modi) spoke of was whether or not the world could come together to create a pool of trained volunteers in a global movement that would help countries recover after a disaster," Gokhale said.
PM Modi called meeting with Guterres "excellent"
Excellent meeting with the Secretary General of @UN, Mr. @antonioguterres. We had extensive deliberations on key issues, most notably ways to strengthen the efforts to mitigate climate change. pic.twitter.com/S5P6MmJT4A— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 25, 2019
To note, China has been blocking India's entry to NSG
India has been pushing for an NSG membership since 2016, but China has been thwarting the attempts saying New Delhi hasn't signed NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). To recall, S Jaishankar, as Foreign Secretary, had a crucial role to play when India made a pitch for NSG membership. With him at the top of External Affairs Ministry now, New Delhi's wish just got renewed.
Notably, PM Modi attended G7 Summit on Macron's invitation
Meanwhile, despite not being a member of G7 grouping, PM Modi attended the Summit on French President Emmanuel Macron's invitation. He spoke at the session on "Digital Transformation" and addressed another on "Biodiversity, Oceans, Climate". There, he underlined India's contribution towards curtailing oceanic pollution. He also met a spate of global leaders including US President Donald Trump and UK's PM Boris Johnson.