Paris Summit 2023 to address 'climate solidarity', 'redefine North-South relations'

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman listed out some key measures undertaken by the Central government to ensure financial inclusion at the Paris Summit

French president Emmanuel Macron kicks off the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact on Thursday, June 22 at Palais Brongniart, Paris. (photo courtesy: AFP)
French president Emmanuel Macron kicks off the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact on Thursday, June 22 at Palais Brongniart, Paris. (photo courtesy: AFP)

NH Digital

The Summit for a New Global Financing Pact kicked off at Paris on Thursday, June 22, with more than 300 participants from various sectors. The two-day summit is being held at the Palais Brongniart, which used to house the Paris stock exchange.

The international financing system "is the fruit of a past consensus, which was able to show its effectiveness," but it "is no longer entirely suitable, and must be realigned with our objectives," French President Emmanuel Macron said in his opening speech.

Macron called for more funding to meet the challenges of poverty, biodiversity and climate. He told delegates that the world needs a "public finance shock" — a global push of innovation and financing in order to combat these challenges considering that the current system was "not well suited to address the world’s challenges."

"Facing these challenges at the same time, poverty, climate and biodiversity, we must invest more, and we are not up to the task," he added at the beginning of the two-day summit.

Stressing on the involvement of developing countries in the global fight against the climate crisis, Macron called for 'climate solidarity'.

The participants are expected to discuss climate change-related financing issues through six round tables, including overhauling the international financial architecture, restoring confidence, forging partnerships for strategies, and creating a conducive environment for the private sector.

According to a Le Monde report, the global financing summit seeks to 'redefine North-South relations'. Around 50 heads of state from across the globe, along with representatives from international institutions and civil bodies, are attending the summit.

"The objective of this ambitious conference is to "build a new contract between [the global] North and South," said Macron. The aim is to "address the needs of developing countries in their fight against poverty and their adaptation to global warming," he added. The Summit for a New Global Financing Pact will aim to materialise an investment surge for countries in need.

Meanwhile, Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, attending the summit as the nation's representative on Thursday, listed out some key measures undertaken by the government to ensure financial inclusion.

"Today, we're able to send most of the benefits directly to the bank accounts of citizens. After the introduction of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), the government was able to save Rs one lakh crore in just one of the provinces in India through direct benefit transfer. DPI has allowed us to make optimum use of taxpayers' money," she told dignitaries.

"Under 'Stand-up India' scheme, women were identified not just in big cities but tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and are being granted collateral-free loans at concessional rates, so that they can stand up on their own. Push given for startups was not just an urban phenomenon," Sitharaman said.

"Women street vendors and small merchants are being given collateral-free loans," the finance minister told the gathering.

Listing out some women-centric projects initiated by the Indian government, the minister said that all the public sector banks across India have been mandated to give loans to at least one woman per bank branch at a concessional rate without any collateral, Sitharaman added.

Maternity leaves were raised to 26 weeks, she informed, adding that women self-help groups in villages can now procure locally produced grains, build silos and storage capacities. Viability gap funding is being provided to them.

A national agriculture market has been created through which women can find a better market for their produce.

Other notable participants include United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President Ajay Banga.

With IANS inputs

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