The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today said that the present global environment represents a rare opportunity, when the world is keen to embrace India, and India is moving forward with confidence. Addressing Heads of Indian Missions from across the world, the Prime Minister urged them to use this unique opportunity to help India position itself in a leading role, rather than just a balancing force, globally. Urging them to shed old mindsets, the Prime Minister said they should be quick to adapt to changing global situations.
Emphasizing the role of "Heads of Missions" in projecting India to the world, the Prime Minister described them as "shining vibrant representatives" (tejasvi, jeevant anshpunj) of India`s glorious heritage. He urged them to work ceaselessly and with a clear mind, on India`s development priorities, and to advance India`s interests abroad.
Speaking of conflicts in the twenty-first century, the Prime Minister said there were new "actors" and new "threats" to global peace and prosperity, and added that India, which always stood for "Vishva-Bandhutva" and peace – the brotherhood of the world – had a great responsibility in helping the world counter these challenges to peace.
On the challenge of climate change, the Prime Minister said protecting the environment is part of India`s cultural heritage, and therefore, India must take the lead in countering this challenge, and also work towards a change in global attitudes towards the challenges of climate change. He said Indian culture was replete with illustrations which indicated "prakriti-prem" – "love for nature."
The Prime Minister credited the Indian diplomatic community for their success in the International Day of Yoga being adopted by the United Nations in record time, with a record number of co-sponsors. He said Yoga should be projected as a possible solution to common everyday problems of people across the world, including stress management.
The Prime Minister said the NITI Aayog has recognized the Indian diaspora as a great strength of our nation, and Heads of Missions must come up with innovative ways, in which to positively build upon this strength.
The Prime Minister called for preparing a compendium of best practices of Missions across the world, and spreading them horizontally. He called upon Missions to contribute towards developing a culture for "Swachhta" – cleanliness, and to remain ahead of the curve on digital diplomacy. He urged Missions to maintain digital libraries showcasing the best of Indian culture, and maintaining regular contact with prominent individuals from countries abroad, who visited or planned to visit India. He said relationships have been important for all mankind throughout history, even as humanity has struggled to deal with challenges.
The Union Minister for External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj, the MoS for External Affairs Shri V.K Singh, and the Foreign Secretary, Shri S. Jaishankar, were present on the occasion.