Need for bringing the world together to address big global challenges: EAM Jaishankar

PTI, Sep 30, 2023, 2:20 PM IST

Image source: X (Formerly Twitter)

Washington DC: The big global challenges like climate change and economic progress cannot be effectively addressed in isolation and it has become even more important to bring the world together, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

His remarks came as he addressed an unprecedented gathering of hundreds and thousands of people here attending the Olympics-style World Culture Festival.

The event in its fourth edition is being held in the American capital at the majestic National Mall, the area between the US Capitol, the temple of democracy, and the imposing National Mall. Over the next three days, more than a million people from over 100 countries are expected to attend this mega-cultural event to witness the performances of more than 17,000 artists from over 180 countries.

Congratulating the Art of Living which under the inspiration and guidance of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has “brought us all together” Jaishankar said that global thought and international understanding are so visible as “I look around me.”

Humanity, he said, is truly a diverse group and this is expressed through culture, traditions, heritage and identities. ”The big challenges of the day like climate change, economic progress or societal well-being cannot be effectively addressed in isolation,” he noted.

“Bringing the world together has become even more important. It is with this approach that India took up the responsibility of the G-20 presidency and our theme: One earth, one family and one future is represented so well today before us culturally,” Jaishankar said.

In recent years, the world has become more democratic and mutual respect has commensurately increased among them, he said.

”Globalisation and technology have facilitated our getting to know each other much better,” Jaishankar added. “No part of the world, no people, no thought process, no culture is today considered too distant, But because our collective living has become more intense, it must also be more harmonious and more collaborative,” he said.

Asserting that “we” all belong to each other and one global family, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressing the gathering called for facing the challenges pragmatically and dreaming for a better future. “Let us once again reaffirm our faith in the goodness of humanity. There is a lot of goodwill and the desire to do good in society,” Ravi Shankar said in his address to the World Culture Festival being organised by Art of Living.

”Let us face the challenges pragmatically; accept the challenges and dream for a better future for this and the coming generation,” he said.

One person not being happy in a family can make the whole family miserable and several such families make the whole nation unhappy, he said.

”Let’s commit ourselves again on this occasion to bring more happiness… Let’s create more happiness in society. Let’s bring more smiles and white tears. That’s humaneness and that’s what we are all made up of,” said the Indian spiritual guru addressing the massive crowd who had filled up the space between the US Capitol and the National Monument.

Except for the presidential inauguration, the space at the National Mall is rarely filled up like the one seen Friday evening, which organisers estimated attracted nearly a million people. The Park Police and the Washington DC Government on Friday announced that the looming government shutdown would not impact the event in the city. On the first night, several thousand artists from across the world enthralled hundreds and thousands of people with their mesmerising performances reflecting the rich cultural diversity of the world, but sending the one common message of unity.

“No celebration gains depth and width if it’s not supported by wisdom, and that wisdom is within us within all of us. Wisdom is to recognise we are all unique and we are all one,” he said.

”We all belong to one global family. Let’s celebrate our life. Life is too short to think about conflicts,” Ravi Shankar said.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said culture builds bridges. ”Culture breaks down walls, Culture brings the world together through dialogue and mutual understanding. Culture enhances unity and harmony among people and nations. And culture can create powerful exchanges between all global citizens,” he said.

Over 1,000 leaders from business, government and international institutions attending the festival will gather for the Global Leadership Forum (GLF) on September 30.

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