In an interdependent world, no country immune to effects of global disasters: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on March 17, 2021

In an interdependent world, no country immune to effects of global disasters: Modi

New Delhi, March 17, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that, in an interdependent and interconnected world, no country remained immune to the effect of global disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure through video conference, the Prime Minister said, “We are witnessing an event that is being termed a once-in-a-hundred-year disaster. COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that in an interdependent and interconnected world, no country -- rich or poor, in the east or west, north or south -- is immune to the effect of global disasters.”

The Prime Ministers of Fiji, Italy and the United Kingdom were present on the occasion. Representatives from national governments, experts from international organisations, academic institutions and the private sector also participated in the conference.

“The pandemic has shown us that innovation to address global challenges can come from anywhere,” Modi said. He called for fostering a global ecosystem that supports innovation in all parts of the world and its transfer to places that are most in need. He expressed the hope that the year 2021 would bring swift recovery from the pandemic.

He cautioned that the lessons from the pandemic must not be forgotten. These apply to not only public health disasters but other disasters as well. Similarly, It will take sustained and concerted efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Modi said countries that were making large investments in infrastructure, such as India, must ensure that it became an investment in resilience and not at risk. Many infrastructure systems -- digital infrastructure, shipping lines, aviation networks -- cover the entire world and the effect of disaster in one part of the world can quickly spread across the world. Cooperation remains a must for ensuring the resilience of the global system, he said.

“The year 2021 is particularly important. We are approaching the mid-point of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris agreement and the Sendai Framework. The expectations from COP-26, to be hosted by the UK and Italy later this year, are high. This partnership on resilient infrastructure must play its important role in helping meet some of those expectations,” he added.

Elaborating on the key priority areas, Modi said CDRI must embody the central promise of the Sustainable Development Goals, that is, "leave no one behind".

“This means that we have to put the concerns of the most vulnerable nations and communities first. Secondly, we must take stock of the performance of some of the key infrastructure sectors -- particularly health infrastructure and the digital infrastructure, that played a central role during the pandemic. What are the lessons from these sectors? And how can we make them more resilient for the future?

“Third, in our quest for resilience, no technological system should be considered too basic or too advanced. The CDRI must maximize the demonstration effect of the application of technology. Finally, the notion of 'resilient infrastructure' must become a mass movement galvanizing the energies of not just the experts and formal institutions,” he added.

NNN

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