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Address by External Affairs Minister at the International Solar Alliance Founding Conference (March 11, 2018)

March 11, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance.

Here in India, we live by the credo of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - a Sanskrit shloka, which means "the world is one family".

But seldom have I drawn greater joy from my duty as India's External Affairs Minister, opening the doors to our global family, as I do today.

I feel especially proud to welcome the distinguished Heads of State and Government, Vice-Presidents, Ministers and Governmental representatives, and the numerous heads and representations of multilateral organisations and banks that have chosen to grace this important rite of passage for the ISA today at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The hallowed portals of Rashtrapati Bhawan are no strangers to history, and so it is befitting that the story of the ISA should find its marker here.

As the first international organization with its headquarters in India, ISA is not only a testament to India's unwavering faith in multilateralism but also a commitment on all of our parts to a better, sustainable and greener future.

The ISA has been making rapid strides since its launch at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then French President.

The Alliance is a reflection of the vision and the firm belief that the beneficence of the Sun could be used to bring together the peoples of this planet for a shared solution to our energy needs.

The desire behind that vision has always been to make solar energy accessible and affordable for the poor by addressing the various economic and technological factors that currently impede such access.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Economic growth and sustainable development are not mutually exclusive but reinforce each other. We are gathered here to prove to the world that this is indeed so.

In a recognition of this responsibility, India has provided support worth US$ 27 million towards hosting the ISA secretariat, created an ISA corpus fund, offered training support for ISA member countries at National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE) and also provided support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications.

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) have announced contribution of US$ 1 million each to the ISA corpus and we will do much much more.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A world in which a minority appropriates the vast majority of the world's resources is not a sustainable paradigm. A more equitable socio-economic order that respects sustainability is essential, if the future is to defined by peace, prosperity and progress.

It is my fervent hope that the ISA will serve as a laudable vehicle towards this goal. May the omnipresent radiance of the sun lead us to a future full of promise and hope!

Before I conclude, I would like to bow before the Sun God and address him by five different names in Sanskrit:

ॐ सूर्याय नमः
ॐ आदित्याय नमः
ॐ दिनकराय नमः
ॐ दिवाकराय नमः
ॐ भास्कराय नमः

This means:

Oh Sun God! we bow before you who is the Lord of creation, who is the best one to be worshipped, and who illuminates the external and the internal world.

May You bless us....
May You bless us....
May You bless us....

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