The Bold Voice of J&K

Modi’s vision is to make India a leading power, key player in world affairs: Natasha

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G7 Summit 2024

Editor-in-Chief (Young Bites) Vijay Gupta interacting with Natasha Pirzada, Sr Researcher, University of Toronto.

Vijay Gupta

BARI (ITALY): The G7 Summit is being held in Borgo Egnazia (Fasano) in Apulia, from June 13-15. The event brings together the Leaders of the seven member States, as well as the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission representing the European Union.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also visiting Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach Summit on the invitation of Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni.
The Young Bites Team is also covering the summit and had interaction with Natasha Pirzada, Senior Researcher, G-7 Research Group, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Talking to Editor-in-Chief (Young Bites) Vijay Gupta, Natasha gave detailed views about the G-7 and issues to be discussed during the summit.
Here are the excerpts of the interview
Q: Welcome, Natasha. It’s a pleasure to have you with us. Can you start by explaining how the G7 came into existence and the purpose of this group?
Natasha: The G7 Summit first convened in 1975, bringing together the world’s most developed and democratic countries. The founding members included the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union. The group’s primary purpose was to discuss and coordinate economic policy among the major advanced economies.
Q Before 2019, the G7 Summit was more of a private meeting among these developed countries. How has the inclusion of guest countries since then changed the group’s dynamics and policies?
Natasha: Indeed, prior to 2019, the G7 was an exclusive club of the most powerful developed nations. Since then, the inclusion of guest countries has broadened the group’s focus. India has also been specially invited. Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Middle Eastern countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also invited for the summit. Under the current Italian presidency, the summit is addressing a range of global issues including development in Africa, climate change, the Israel-Hamas conflict, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, energy, migration, and artificial intelligence. Despite these diverse topics, the economic development of Africa remains a top priority.
Q Last year’s G-20 meeting in India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also emphasized Africa’s development. What are your thoughts on this focus?
Natasha: Historically, about 17 percent of G7 communiqués since 1974 have focused on African development. From 1996 to 2022, the compliance rate with these commitments was about 75 percent. Italy has made a focus on Africa development with the involvement of IMF.
Q As a senior researcher on the G7 and other international groups, how do you view Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially as he enters his third term?
Natasha: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attended several G-7 Summits even though India is primarily a member of the G20. Modi has been a regular guest during the meeting in the past. His vision is to make India a leading power and key player in the world affairs. However India needs to focus on several areas before it can join the developed nations.
Q Speaking of regional issues, there has been a notable improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. Tourism, in particular, has seen an increase. What are your views on this?
Natasha: Yes it is a fact that the security situation has considerably improved in Jammu and Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370 in 2019. The G 20 tourism meeting held in Srinagar in May 2023 has given a new direction to the region. My personal opinion is that more needs to be done for the development of the region.

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