Akbar proposes G20 Working Group on Terrorism at Bonn foreign ministers meeting

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Bonn [Germany], Feb.18 (ANI): India's Minister of State for External Affairs, M. J. Akbar, paid a three-day visit to Germany from February 15-17 to attend the G20 foreign ministers' informal meeting in Bonn. During his meetings and interactions, Akbar proposed the creation of a G20 Working Group on Terrorism and also underscored that while nations must and should engage with the governments for the development of Africa, the G20's focus could be society in addition to the states. He reminded that the focus should be on the 'African' rather than on Africa only. In the run up to the forthcoming Hamburg G20 summit in July 2017, ministerial meetings are being convened by the German G20 Presidency for holding deliberations in respective areas. The meeting themes were (i) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ii) Maintaining Peace in a Complex World and (iii) Cooperation with Africa. Issues relating to rule-based international order were discussed over dinner. They exchanges views on crisis-prevention, addressing global imbalances and poverty, and help build peaceful, fair and sustainable world order. The need to reform institutions of global governance like the United Nations to reflect the contemporary realities was also discussed. Highlighting India's participation in UN peacekeeping, Akbar enumerated India's contributions, including of USD 10 billion in concessional-loans, training and capacity-building and the successful hosting of the 3rd India-Africa Summit in October 2015. He called for a people-centric approach for Africa by G-20, concentrating on education, skill development and gender empowerment as priorities. He reinforced the need to invest in the cultural-pride, heritage, identity and music in the genius of the African people. On the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals, Akbar stated that the key question was the crisis of poverty. He reiterated the fact that Prime Minister Modi had reset the compass to make poverty-elimination rather than poverty-alleviation as the principal goal of governance. This, he said, should be a model for the G20. This resonated well with the participating countries. Minister also shared India's development experience including the radical use of digital technology as a means for achieving inclusion and economic transformation. On the sidelines of the G20 Meeting, the Minister of State for External Affairs held bilateral meetings with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Federica Mogherini; Foreign Minister of Argentina Ms. Susana Malcorra; Foreign Minister of Netherlands Mr. Bert Koenders; and Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Mr. Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. Minister also met with the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres and discussed issues related to counter terrorism, poverty alleviation, sustainable development and Africa. (ANI)