Describing India as “one of the leaders of the global south”, UN General Assembly President Saba Korosi has said that there are great similarities between Indian strategic thinking and the UN body on the need for change in the world.
Korosi will arrive in India on Sunday on a three-day visit at the invitation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. This is his first bilateral visit to any country since assuming his role as President of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022.
“I see parallels, big parallels, between Indian strategic thinking about what this world should look like, what kind of change this world needs and the General Assembly thinking about how do we change ourselves, how do we change this organization And how are we, Korosi said, “changing some of our behaviors in the world. So, my main message to partners would be – I’m going to seek collaboration out there.”
His discussions with Jaishankar are expected to focus on India’s involvement with the UN body as well as on sustainable water use.
Describing India as “one of the leaders of the global south”, Korosi said that India is one of the largest economies in the world and is poised to become the most populous country on the planet.
“India has a good feeling that this world is changing very fast. India is facing many of the same crises that we are facing, in different forms, interconnected, all over the world. is looking for its own solution and in many ways an example, not only for itself, but for many other countries,” he said.
Korosi noted that he finds his presidency’s motto of ‘solidarity, stability and solutions through science’ “very resonant” with some of the Indian government’s priorities, India’s G20 presidency and the country’s long-term vision for growth and development Huh.
India assumed the year-long presidency of the G20 on 1 December 2022 amid challenges from the Ukraine conflict and the global economic slowdown.
“I see and feel what a great challenge the Indian presidency is facing,” he said.
Korosi will visit India’s G20 Secretariat and meet the delegation led by G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant. He said the G20, created after the Asian financial meltdown, has grown institutionally and has expanded its agenda to many other areas.
He said the ‘One Earth One Family One Future’ slogan of the Indian G20 presidency is “very, very broad” and “means that the Indian President is looking for a global responsibility in the G20 context.”
He added that the war in Ukraine has had an impact on many platforms and discussions due to “deep geopolitical divisions”.
Korosi stressed that he looked forward to discussing with Kant how he believes the G20 forum can contribute to crisis management and change in the world.
Because I see a potential parallel between what the (G20) forum can offer to the world and what the General Assembly can offer to the international community, he said.
Korosi hopes to discuss “concretely” with the Indian government and stakeholders solutions to pressing global challenges including food security and sustainability, water and energy crises, evaluate how best to integrate the water and climate agenda as well as ways to jointly promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“SDGs are about the transformation of the world. Obviously, there are many good results in many countries across the world but the overall result is still dismal. Wherever India goes, it matters,” he said.
Korosi pointed out that a “critical missing part” from evaluating the implementation of the SDGs is scientific support.
“Scientific support is very disorganized and weak,” he said, adding that he looked forward to discussing ways to jointly develop science-based assessment and verification support for the SDGs as well as the water and climate agenda.
A key focus of Korosi’s visit will be building links between the General Assembly and science, particularly on water, ahead of the UN Water Conference co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands at the UN Headquarters in March.
Korosi will travel to Bengaluru, where he is expected to visit a water project site and interact with national scientists and academicians at the Indian Institute of Science.
On issues related to sustainable water use, Korosi said India has started facing water challenges including drought, depleting groundwater levels, pollution of freshwater resources, floods, compared to some other countries in the world.
“India has experience in these areas over a much longer period of time than some other countries,” he said, adding that solutions to these challenges cannot be short-term or sustainable.
He said the world needs to find some real game changers, including making water the driving engine of the economy, realizing the real value of water – social, economic and environmental.
Korosi cautioned that by 2040, about 40 percent of the population will be facing severe water scarcity and the gap between freshwater availability and demand will be 40 percent.
“It’s really huge,” he said.
Water scarcity is not just about drinking water or communal supplies but about food production.
“India is in a phase of facing some challenges and working on solutions a little earlier than some other countries,” Korosi said.
Emphasizing that these challenges require a different approach, Korosi said he looked forward to “good discussions” with partners in the Indian government on how “we can align our economic thinking with sustainability, water use and Let’s talk about the value of water.”
Referring to the United Nations, he said, “It can also promote scientific thinking in this House.”