Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

PM’s address at the third edition of the annual conference of the Coalition for Disaster resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

  • The third edition of the annual conference of the Coalition for Disaster resilient Infrastructure or CDRI is taking place at an unprecedented time. We are witnessing an event that is being termed a once-in-a-hundred-year disaster.
  • COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that in an interdependent and interconnected world, no country-rich or poor, in the east or west, north or south-Is immune to the effect of global disasters.
  • In the 2nd century AD, the Indian scholar sage Nagarjuna wrote “Verses On Dependent Arising” प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद.
  • He showed the inter-connectedness of all things, including human beings. This work shows the manner in which human life unfolds in the natural and social worlds.
  • If we deeply understand this ancient wisdom, we can reduce the vulnerabilities of our current global system.
  • On one hand, the pandemic has shown us how impacts can quickly spread across the world. And on the other hand, it has shown how the world can come together to fight a common threat.
  • We saw how human ingenuity can solve even the most difficult problems. We have developed vaccines in a record time.
  • The pandemic has shown us that innovation to address global challenges can come from anywhere.
  • We need to foster a global eco-system that supports innovation in all parts of the world, and its transfer to places that are most in need.
  • The year 2021 promises to be a year of swift recovery from the pandemic. The lessons from the pandemic, however, must not be forgotten.
  • They apply to not only public health disasters but other disasters as well. We have a looming climate crisis.
  • As the UN Environment chief recently said, “there is no vaccine for the climate crisis.” It will take sustained and concerted efforts to mitigate climate change.
  • We also need to adapt to changes that are already being observed and are affecting communities around the world.
  • In such a context, the importance of this Coalition has become even more evident. If we can make our investments in infrastructure resilient, it can be a centre piece of our wider adaptation efforts.
  • Countries that are making large investments in infrastructure, such as India, must ensure that this is an investment in resilience, and not in risk.
  • But as the events of recent weeks have shown, this is not a developing country problem alone.