On October 6th, the leaders of India and the European Union (EU) wrapped up the 14th India-EU Summit in New Delhi with a joint statement, including a Joint Statement on Clean Energy and Climate Change. The Republic of India was represented by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The EU was represented by Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker.
Both India and the EU acknowledge the role and responsibility they share as the world’s two largest democracies. They recognize that they share many common democratic principles and values. And they agree that solutions to global security, refugees, and climate change issues must involve deeper cooperation on both the bilateral and multilateral levels.
The countries, represented by India’s Prime Minister Modi and President of the European Council Jean Claude Juncker, have reaffirmed their climate change commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to cooperate to further enhance its implementation. This will be accomplished by continuing regular high level talks to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding.
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The two countries have adopted the India-EU Joint Statement on a Partnership for Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation, which will include cooperation to upgrade urban infrastructure for transport and sanitation, and invest in smart city infrastructure.
India and the EU have also agreed to promote the 2016 New Urban Agenda of the United Nations. That agenda includes commitments to provide access to basic services for all citizens and fully respect the rights of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons. They have also agreed to intensify people-to-people exchanges and facilitate increased travel of tourists, business persons, students, and researchers between them.
It is refreshing to see an example of responsible global leadership from an established and upcoming world power. Climate adaptation is happening all around us and if that effort is going to be successful nations must drop their egos and build bilateral and multilateral trust.
Neither India nor the EU are perfect examples of democratic ideals, but they are putting energy and effort into trying to make the future brighter through cooperation and mutual respect.