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Remarks by Minister of State for External Affairs on Community of Democracies - 20th Anniversary of the Warsaw Declaration

June 27, 2020

H.E. Mr. Bogdan Aurescu- Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania,
Mr. Thomas E. Garrett- Secretary General, Community of Democracies

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen;


I am happy to participate in our meeting today to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Warsaw Declaration.

Twenty years ago, inspired by our democratic values, we had come together to adopt this landmark declaration to emphasize our commitment to uphold democratic principles, and underline interdependence between democracy and development.

As we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, the most serious challenge faced by humanity today, our commitment to democracy and democratic values has become even more important.

Our individual as well as collective response to this pandemic will determine how democracy as a mode of governance is judged by the world at large. It will have a significant impact on consolidation of democracy in the world of tomorrow.

As a populous, developing country and a free society, fighting COVID-19 is not a small challenge for India. In confronting this pandemic, we have been mindful of staying true to our democratic principles.

Our response has shown how democracy, discipline and decisiveness can come together to create a genuine people’s movement.

While we care for our own citizens, India is also extending helping hand to other partners, in our neighbourhood and beyond.

Our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi took the lead to organize meeting of Leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC and participated in several international meetings such as the G-20 Summit and the NAM Contact Group Summit Meeting on COVID 19.

As a major producer of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, we have provided supplies to over 150 partner countries, proving our credentials as the pharmacy of the world. We have been ready to share India’s medical expertise with others. We are active in the global efforts to develop remedies and vaccines.

At the global level, the weaknesses in collective response to COVID-19 has put the spotlight on the limitations of the existing international system.

In the post-COVID world, we need a new template of globalization, based on fairness, equality, and humanity.We need international institutions that are more representative of today’s world.

We need to promote human welfare, and not focus on economic growth alone.

What we need is a reformed multilateralism which reflects contemporary realities and can respond to present-day challenges.

India has long championed such initiatives.

As the world fights COVID-19, we also need to fight the proliferation of false information. Just like terrorism, fake news and doctored videos are used to divide communities and countries and are a threat to democracies. We need to work together to overcome this challenge.

The Warsaw Declaration underlines the value of exchanging experiences in the consolidation of democracy and identifying best practices that will strengthen democratic institutions. This is very relevant for the present times. India stands ready to work with other partners in the Community of Democracies and to play an important role in promoting global solidarity andenhancing democratic governance, including in the fight against COVID-19.

I thank you for your attention.

New Delhi
June 26, 2020

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