The future belongs not to single entities but to those who cooperate and mingle and everyone must obey the universal law of inclusion, stated the Chair of Civil20 India Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at the inaugural session of Civil20 India 2023 in Nagpur today (March 20, 2023). The session was chaired by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and Nobel Laureate and Founder of Satyarthi Foundation, Kailash Satyarthi was the Chief Guest in it. The Guest of Honour included Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Vice Chairman of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini and Patron of Civil20India 2023 Secretariat Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Civil20 India 2023 Sherpa and former Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, Sherpa of Civil20 Indonesia Ahmad Maftuchan, Alessandra Nilo from GESTOS, Brazil and Troika Member of Civil20, and Vice President of Vivekananda Kendra in Kanyakumari Nivedita Bhide.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chair of Civil20 India Amritanandamayi Devi said that people experience two types of poverties in world – first is poverty of food and shelter and second is poverty of love and compassion. She said that there is a need to cultivate the qualities of love and compassion. A healthy mingling of diversity is essential for human culture to flourish. Amritanandamayi Devi further said that the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accomplished a great deal of progress which is creating a huge transformation. She said that from ancient times ‘the world is one family’ has been the mantra of Indian soil. It still is today and will continue to do so in the future. The Presidency of the G-20 nations is a unique opportunity to model this truth before the world.
Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis welcomed all the guests and delegates to the city of Nagpur. He said that, under the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the G20 has been democratized. It has become a people’s movement. The role of civil society is very important as governments have legal power but civil society has moral powers, he said. There is a need to have a robust system of civil society so that the voice of the last man is heard by the government, stated the Deputy CM of Maharashtra.
Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe informed that 357 delegates are attending the Inception Conference. There are representatives of 26 countries and 130 international delegates have arrived in Nagpur for the C-20 Inception Meet. He further said that India believes in an autonomous society and this is reflected in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He said it is time to move towards a duty-based approach from a rights based approach. He presented a report of the activities of CIVIL20 India Secretariat.
Welcoming the participants and members, Civil20 India 2023 Sherpa Vijay Nambiar said that the Civil 20 India 2023 Inception Conference is a meeting for grouping of civil society. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been, and continue to remain, a strong support to governance, he added. “To complement and supplement these efforts, there needs to be a constructive and productive relationship within CSOs”, he said. This was most apparent during the time of disasters, be it the recent pandemic or past earthquakes and tsunamis, he further said. Vijay Nambiar said that any successful intervention is only possible with the proper engagement of CSOs. CSOs can work beyond all barriers and act as a bridge between governments and public. He said that CSOs can play a major role in solving modern day problems such as realisation of net zero commitments and also in achieving the targets outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. He further stated that the logo of the CIVIL 20 India 2023 signified selfless service and the tagline ‘You are the Light’ urges everyone to make their own path.
Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said that it was for the first time that CIVIL20 is being driven by spirituality. “‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and ‘One Earth, One Family One Future’ are not merely slogans but have roots in spirituality”, he said. He further said that India is the motherland of one billion solutions. He remarked that 130 people from 26 countries gathering in the Inception Conference made this world a family. He also said that India has some of the best social protection programs in the world such as Mid-day meal program and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program. Kailash Satyarthi also said that, under its G20 Presidency, India should raise the voice for more effective representation of the Global South. He said that India should also lead globalisation of compassion.
Ahmad Maftuchan congratulated Civil20 India Presidency 2023 for hosting the inception meeting in Nagpur. This was a significant gathering of civil society actors, he said. He also stated that CSO leaders must strengthen their engagements with G20.
Alessandra Nilo said that the role of civil society in today’s world is very important. Civil20 is tirelessly working to solve the problems faced by modern society, she further said. She also said that implementation of the progressive commitments made by various governments are either lagging behind or are being neglected. The implementation of these commitments will be possible only if Governments effectively engaged with the civil society, she opined.
Swadesh Singh, Sous-Sherpa of CIVIL20 India 2023 delivered the vote of thanks. He said that the tagline of CIVIL20 India You are the light culminated in the CIVIL20 India 2023 Inception Conference.