Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Chinese President Xi Jinping separately on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires. Modi assured Guterres that India would play its “due and responsible” role at the climate change conference in Poland next week, PTI reported.
The COP24 meeting – short for the “24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” – will be held in Katowice in Poland from December 3.
Modi tweeted about his “excellent meeting with the Secretary General” that involved discussions on several international matters. “We talked about mitigating climate change and India’s efforts in this regard through initiatives like the International Solar Alliance,” Modi said.
The climate change conference was the most important topic of discussion during the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said. Guterres said India has a major role to play in climate change negotiations, according to Gokhale.
Gokhale said Guterres expressed his hope for India to play the “uniting role of a good Samaritan” and collaborate with groups of developed and developing countries to find solutions to the effects of climate change. “The Secretary General also said, that when he was in Delhi in October, he had seen for himself the manner in which other campaigns the prime minister had led including the Swachh Bharat campaign had impacted the environment,” Gokhale said.
During his visit to India in October, Guterres had cited the Kerala floods to urge world leaders to act faster to slow down climate change.
Meanwhile, Modi’s office described his meeting with Xi Jinping as a “productive discussion”.
On Thursday, Modi had met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the summit. Modi and Salman discussed ways to “boost economic, cultural and energy ties”. They also discussed enhancing investment in technology, renewable energy and food security over the next three years, PTI reported.