G20 is an ideal platform to discuss and find solutions to "most pressing" problems such as global warming and climate change which affect the poor most, President Droupadi Murmu said in her maiden address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day.
The President said after a series of initiatives in recent years to transform all aspects of governance and unleash the creative energies of people, the world has started to look at India with a new sense of respect.
"Our interventions in various world forums have started making a positive difference. The respect that India has earned on the world stage has resulted in new opportunities as well as responsibilities," she said.
President Murmu said India holds the Group of 20 (G20) presidency this year, which is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism and the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future.
"Under India's leadership, I am sure, G20 will be able to further enhance its efforts to build a more equitable and sustainable world order," she said.
The President said G20 represents about two-thirds of the world population and around 85 per cent of the global GDP, and it is an ideal forum to discuss and find solutions for global challenges.
"To my mind, global warming and climate change are the most pressing among them. Global temperatures are rising and incidents of extreme weather are increasing... Unfortunately, the poor bear the brunt of global warming more than others," she said.
The President said that India is faced with the dilemma of lifting more and more people out of poverty which is possible through economic growth but that also comes from fossil fuels.
She said one of the solutions to the conundrum is promoting the use of alternative energy sources.
"India has taken a commendable lead in this direction by giving a policy push to solar energy and electric vehicles. At the global level, however, emerging economies need a helping hand from advanced nations in the form of technology transfer and financial support," Murmu said.
Murmu, the first President from the tribal community, said to balance development and the environment, we have to look at the ancient traditions with a new perspective.
"We need to reconsider our basic priorities. The scientific aspects of traditional life-values have to be understood. We must, once again, rekindle that respect for nature and humility before the vast universe," she said.
The President said Mahatma Gandhi was a true prophet of our times, as he foresaw the calamities of indiscriminate industrialisation and cautioned the world to mend its ways.