Underlining that radicalisation and terrorism are the biggest threats to global peace and security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, February 22 said that time has come for all right-thinking nations to join hands to eradicate terror networks.
Modi, who was conferred the Seoul Peace Price by the South Korean government, in recognition of his service to international cooperation, global growth and human development, said at the ceremony, "This award does not belong to me personally but to the people of India, the success India has achieved in the last five years, powered by the skill of 1.3 billion people." The Prime Minister is the 14th recipient to be conferred with the award.
Other past winners include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former UN Secretary-Generals Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon, and renowned Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus.
"I am honoured that this award is being conferred on me in the year that we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi," Modi said. The Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games.
The award came into existence to reflect the wishes of the Korean people yearning for long-lasting peace and stability in the Korean peninsula. The Prime Minister said that like South Korea, India has also suffered the pain of division and cross-border terrorism.
"Our endeavour towards peaceful development has only too often been derailed by cross-border terrorism. The time has come for all right-thinking nations to join hands to completely eradicate terrorist networks. Only by doing so can we replace hate with harmony," Modi remarked. He underscored that eradicating the global menace will replace hate with harmony, destruction with development and hence, the landscape of violence and vendetta will be transformed into a postcard for peace.
Modi said that around Rs 1 crore 30 lakh will be contributed to the 'Namami Gange' project, in an effort to clean the river which is not only considered sacred by the people of India but as an economic lifeline.
Elaborating on the historical significance of the Seoul Peace Prize, the Prime Minister said, "The Seoul Peace Prize was established to commemorate the success of the 24th Summer Olympics held in Seoul in 1988.
The games ended on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. The games showcased the best of Korean culture, the warmth of Korean hospitality and success of the Korean economy." He said that a few weeks before the Olympic Games, the first public warnings of climate change was sounded, which is now recognised as a big threat to humankind.
"A few weeks before the Seoul Olympics, an organisation called Al-Qaeda was formed. Today, radicalisation and terrorism have become globalised and are the biggest threats to global peace and security, Modi added.
The Prime Minister said that India, as a responsible member of the international community, has been at the forefront of its collective fight against climate change. "Despite having a historically low carbon footprint, India has been playing an active role in the global fight against climate change," he added.
Reiterating that India was now the fastest growing economy in the world, the Prime Minister said, "The foundation of laying a strong economic fundamental was made possible because of major economic changes introduced like -- Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and Clean India which contributed to visible socio-economic growth.
We also focused on financial inclusion, access to credit and digital transactions and support to small and medium businesses so as to spread development across the country." "India’s growth story is not only good for the people of India but also for the entire world. We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Our growth and prosperity will inevitably contribute to global growth and development," he added.
Talking about the significance of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Modi said that India partnered with like-minded countries under this sphere in an effort to harness clean and unlimited solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. The Prime Minister is currently on a two-day visit to South Korea for receiving the Seoul Peace Prize as well as attending bilateral engagements. He is slated to depart for India later in the day.