The first ever G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P20 Summit) hosted by the world’s largest democracy concluded at India International Convention Centre, Yashobhoomi, Dwarka, Delhi today, October 14, 2023, with parliamentarians from across the world coming together and reaffirming their commitment to continue their joint work to make an effective and meaningful parliamentary contribution to the G20 process. The ninth edition of the P20 Summit, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on October 13, 2023, came to a close with Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla delivering the valedictory address at the concluding session today. Deputy Chairperson, Rajya Sabha, Shri Harivansh; President of Inter-Parliamentary Union, Mr. Duarte Pacheco; Presiding Officers of Parliaments of G20 nations and other dignitaries graced the concluding session. The two-day summit was preceded by a Parliamentary Forum on Mission LiFE on October 12, 2023.
Addressing fellow parliamentarians and other leaders at the closing session today, the Lok Sabha Speaker thanked Presiding Officers of Parliaments of G20 nations and of invited nations for contributing to the success of this P-20 Summit on “Parliaments for One Earth, One Family and One Future”. The P20 process has been further strengthened by the adoption of the Joint Statement, highlighted Shri Birla. He expressed confidence that the valuable views and inputs shared during the sessions on Sustainable Development Goals, green energy, women-led development and digital public infrastructure will further strengthen the G-20 process for human-centred development.
Mentioning the parliamentary dimension of G20, the Speaker noted that the discussions held over the past two days have clearly underlined the importance of the parliamentary dimension of G20 and have also established how Parliaments can work together to achieve the collective goals of One Earth, One Family and One Future.
Stressing on multilateralism, Shri Birla observed that in today's inter-connected world, we cannot view any particular issue in isolation. He reiterated Paragraph 27 of the Joint Statement, which reads as follows:
"We will continue parliamentary diplomacy and dialogue in relevant fora as a catalyst for promoting international peace, prosperity and harmony while supporting the peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes."
Shri Birla also reiterated the collective determination of Parliaments of G20 nations to pursue the shared commitments at the COP-20, G-20 and beyond, in the times to come. Speaking on the role of parliamentarians, the Speaker noted that as public representatives, the Members of Parliament are in a special position to formulate the policies and laws necessary to fulfill the hopes, aspirations and needs of the public. “Our role is to complement the efforts of the government; we have a special contribution in ensuring good governance for the purpose of public welfare”.
On the conclusion of India’s P20 presidency, the Lok Sabha Speaker handed over the presidency to Parliament of Brazil.
Shared goal of India and IPU is to democratize international governance structures that reflect current realities: Lok Sabha Speaker, at bilateral with IPU President
On the sidelines of P20 Summit, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla met President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Mr. Duarte Pacheco. Shri Birla outlined that India pursues a common agenda with the IPU, of promoting and supporting democratic governance and building strong parliaments to serve the people. India's continued participation in the diverse activities of the IPU and its committees reflects its commitment to furthering the purpose of the IPU, added Shri Birla. Shri Birla suggested that democratic principles and multilateralism should be given priority and everyone should be given proper representation on global platforms. The shared objective of both India and IPU is to democratize international governance structures that reflect current realities, informed Shri Birla.
Both countries have stood together in times of crisis: Lok Sabha Speaker, at bilateral with Russia
On the sidelines of P20 Summit, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla held bilateral talks with H.E. Mrs. Valentina Matvienko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Birla thanked Mrs. Matvienko for her contribution in making P20 a success. He also commended her political experience and contributions towards Parliament and the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU). Observing that India and Russia have long-standing deep relations, Shri Birla said that both countries have stood together in times of crises. He added that India and Russia also have strong relations in diverse fields like the military, agriculture, energy, and science and technology. Noting the mutual trust and close relations between leaders of India and Russia, Shri Birla expressed hope that both India and Russia will continue to strengthen their mutual relationship by further expanding parliamentary diplomacy.
Every nation and parliament is sovereign, internal issues not to be discussed by others: Lok Sabha Speaker, at bilateral with European Parliament Vice-President
Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla also held bilateral discussions with the Vice President of the European Parliament H.E. Ms. Nicola Beer. Shri Birla underlined India's sovereignty and protested against bringing proposal in European Parliament on India's internal issues. He insisted that every nation and parliament is sovereign and that their internal issues should not be discussed by others. Ms. Beer congratulated Shri Birla for a successful P20 Summit and emphasised on closer relations of European Parliament with India. She also informed that Europe is going through challenging times and sought India's cooperation. Shri Birla invited Ms. Beer to watch the festival of democracy during the Indian general elections next year.
Operation Dost a symbol of India’s friendship with Turkey: Lok Sabha Speaker, at bilateral with Turkey
Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla held bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart H.E. Mr. Kurtulmus, Speaker, Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Shri Birla expressed his gratitude to to Mr. Kurtulmus for attending the P20 Summit and commended his views towards Mahatma Gandhi. Noting the historical and civilisational ties between India and Turkey, Shri Birla noted that Sufi and Bhakti traditions are a shared cultural heritage of both nations. He added that the relationship between the two nations will be further strengthened through the efforts of their people and parliamentarians. Mentioning that Operation Dost is a symbol of India's friendship towards Turkey, Shri Birla hoped that Turkey will soon recover after the damage caused by the recent Earthquake. Recalling the frequent Indian film shoots in Turkey, Shri Birla observed that Turkey has emerged as a favourite place for Indian destination weddings. He added that tourism and cultural relations between India and Turkey will also be strengthened through parliamentary diplomacy.
Calling Singapore companies to explore investment opportunities in India in fields like solar energy and electric vehicles: Lok Sabha Speaker, at bilateral with Singapore
Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla held bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Seah Kian Peng, Speaker of Parliament of Singapore. Commending Singapore's efforts in tackling climate change, Shri Birla urged for promotion of clean and green energy by sharing technology. He also stressed on increasing cooperation in trade, industry and green technology between the two countries. Mentioning that India is a fast-growing economy undertaking massive infrastructure expansion, Shri Birla called for Singapore companies to explore investment opportunities in India in fields like solar energy and electric vehicles. Noting that India-Singapore have completed three decades of naval relations, Shri Birla emphasized on a need to increase cooperation in defence and related sectors.
New Parliament Building symbolizes a new beginning for India: Lok Sabha Speaker, at Bilateral with Netherlands
The Lok Sabha Speaker also met Mr. Jan Anthonie Bruijn, President of the Senate, Netherlands. Interacting with him, Shri Birla said that the New Parliament Building of India symbolizes for us a New Beginning signalling the faith of 140 crore Indians and encouraging all of us to make optimum utilization of the various attributes of the New Parliament Building in fulfilling the aspirations of the people in our path towards Amrit Kaal. Underlining that regular exchanges and interactions at the highest political levels have provided guidance and momentum to the ties between the two countries, he suggested that India and Netherlands can further strengthen partnership through regular exchange of ideas and experts, and exploring further opportunities in areas of mutual interest.
Membership of African Union in G20 will help in mainstreaming concerns of Global South: Lok Sabha Speaker, at Bilateral with South Africa
Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla held a bilateral meeting with his counterpart from South Africa H.E. Ms Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula, on the sidelines of the P20 Summit. Shri Birla expressed his appreciation for the cooperation extended by South Africa in making India’s G20 presidency a success. He also congratulated African Union (AU) Member South Africa for the successful inclusion of the AU in the G20, due to India's initiative during the ongoing Indian G-20 Presidency. Shri Birla added that Membership of the African Union in the G20 testifies India and South Africa’s commitment towards an inclusive and representative G20, which will help in mainstreaming the concerns of the global South and in collectively finding solutions to global challenges.
India will continue to draw inspiration from Mexico to advance gender equality in India: Lok Sabha Speaker, at Bilateral with Mexico
Speaking to H.E. Ms. Marcela Guerra Castillo, President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mexico during a bilateral meeting, Shri Birla appreciated the fact that both Presiding Officers of the Mexican Parliament are women. He informed Ms. Castillo about the recently passed historic 'Nari Shakti Vandan Bill.' Acknowledging Mexico's pioneering efforts towards gender equality, Shri Birla said that India will continue to draw inspiration from Mexico to advance gender equality in India. Noting that relations between India and Mexico have progressed well over the years, Shri Birla said that these relations are built on a solid foundation of historical, cultural and civilizational ties, with a firm belief in strong democratic and secular values.