Chairman of the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation, Mr. Kwon E-hyock

Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Moon Hee-sang

Minister for Culture, Mr. Do Jong-hwan

Former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Other members of Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation,

Distinguished dignitaries

Ladies and Gentlemen




Greetings to all

I am deeply honoured to be awarded the Seoul Peace Prize I believe that this award belongs not to me personally, but to the people of India. The award belongs to the success that India has achieved in the less than five years, powered by the strengths and skillsof one point three billion Indians. And so, on their behalf, I humbly accept the Award and express my gratitude. This award is a recognition of the philosophy that has given the message of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम which means the entire world is one family. This award is for the culture that has given the message of peace even on the battle-field, as Lord Krishna gave the teachings of Bhagwad Gita during the battle in the महाभारत.This Award is for a land where we are taught

ॐ द्यौ: शान्तिरन्तरिक्षं शान्ति, पृथ्वी शान्तिराप: शान्तिरोषधय: शान्ति:।
वनस्पतय: शान्तिर्विश्वे देवा: शान्तिर्ब्रह्म शान्ति,सर्वँ शान्ति:, शान्तिरेव शान्ति, सा मा शान्तिरेधि॥
ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति:॥

Which means:

May there be peace every  where in the sky in space,

all over our planet, in nature.

May there be eternal peace.

And, this award is for the people who have always put societal good above individual ambitions. And, I am honoured that this award is being conferred on me in the year that we celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. I would like to contribute the Monetary award of Two Hundred Thousand dollars that one crore thirty lakh rupees to the नमामि गंगे Fund,our effort to clean a river that is not only held sacred by all the people of India, but is also an economic life-line to millions of my countrymen and women.


The Seoul Peace Prize was established to mark the success and spirit of the 24th Summer Olympics held in Seoul in 1988. India remembers the games quite well. Because they ended on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. The games showcased the best of Korean culture,the warmth of Korean hospitality, and the success of the Korean economy. And,not to forget, they marked the arrival of a new sporting power-house in the global arena! But,the games were also an important landmark in world history. The 1988 Olympics were held at a time of many changes in the world. The Iran-Iraq War had just ended. The Geneva Accords relating to the situation in Afghanistan had been signed earlier that year. The Cold War was ending, and there was great hope that a new golden age will soon Dawn. And for a while, it did. The world is better in many aspects today than it was in 1988 Global poverty has been steadily falling. Health-care and education outcomes have been improving. And yet, many daunting global challenges remain.Some are old, some new. A few months before the Seoul Olympics, the first public warnings about climate change were sounded.Today, it is recognized as a big threat to human-kind. A few weeks before the Seoul Olympics, an organization called Al-Qaeda was formed. Today, radicalization and terrorism have become globalized and are the biggest threats to global peace and security. And, millions of people around the world still remain without adequate and quality access to food, shelter,health-care, sanitation, power, and above all, dignity of life. Clearly, there is a lot more that needs to be done.The solution to the hard-ships we face is in hard work. And, India is doing her part. We have been working to improve the well being of the people of India - who form one-sixth of humanity. India is today the fastest growing large economy in the world with strong economic fundamentals. This has been possible because of the major economic changes that we have introduced. Flag-ship initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Clean India’ have contributed to visible socio-economic growth. We have focused on financial inclusion, access to credit, digital transactions, last mile connectivity, andsupport to small and medium enterprise so as to spread development across the country and enrich all the citizens of India. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is making India clean; From a sanitation coverage of around 38% in 2014, the number today stands at 98%! The Ujjwala Yojana is improving the lives of rural women through use of clean cooking fuel; Ayushman Bharat is providing health-care and insurance to 500 million poor and vulnerable people; and, Through these initiatives, and many more, we have contributed to holistic development and India's march towards achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In all our efforts, we are guided by Mahatma Gandhi's teaching that we should recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person that we have ever seen and ask ourselves if the step that we plan is going to be of any benefit to that person.


India’s growth story is not only good for the people of India but also for the entire world. We live in an increasingly connected world. As the third largest economy, our growth and prosperity will inevitably contribute to global growth and development. We are committed to make a peaceful, stable and economically inter-linked world. India, as a responsible member of the international community, has also been in the fore-front of our collective fight against climate change. Despite having a historically low carbon foot-print, India has been playing an active role in the global fight against climate change. At the domestic level, this has been done by unveiling a National Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions, increase forest cover, and replacing traditional carbon fuels with renewable energy supplies. On the international plane, we have partnered with like-minded countries to launch the International Solar Alliance, which aims to harness the clean and unlimited solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. We are one of the largest troop contributing countries for UN peace-keeping operations. And, we are proud to have been able to contribute to peace on the Korean peninsula. We have extended a helping hand to countries in need and participated actively in humanitarian work and disaster relief. We have carried out operations in conflict zones and rescued not only Indians but also nationals of many other countries. We have been an active and considerate development partner for other developing countries, with our guiding principle being to help in developing their physical and social infrastructure. Through these efforts, we seek to ensure that the benefits of a globalised and inter-connected world are equally experienced by all. Over the past few years, my Government has renewed interaction and forged new partnerships across continents. In the East Asian context, we have redefined our engagements with countries in the region, including with Republic of Korea, under our Act East Policy. I am glad to hear an echo of our approach in President Moon's New Southern Policy.


India has been the land of peace for ages. The people of India have practiced the concept of peace and harmonious co-existence for thousands of years. With hundreds of languages and dialects, many states, and major religions, India is proud to be one of the most diverse nations in the world. We are proud that ours is a land where people of all faiths, beliefs, and communities can prosper. We are proud that ours is a society based not only on tolerance, but on celebration of differences and diverse cultures.


Like Korea, India has also suffered the pain of cross-border strife. Our endeavour towards peaceful development has only too often been de-railed by cross-border terrorism. While India has been the victim of cross-border terrorism for over 40 years, all nations today face this grave threat which respects no borders. The time has come for all those who believe in humanity to join hands to completely eradicate terrorist networks and their financing, supply channels, and to counter terrorist ideology and propaganda. Only by doing so can we replace hate with harmony; destruction with development; and, transform the landscape of violence and vendetta into a post-card for peace.


Progress over the past year towards peace on the Korean peninsula has been heartening. President Moon deserves all the praise for the role he has played in overcoming the legacy of mutual distrust and suspicion between the D.P.R.K. and the international community, and bringing them to the discussion table. This is no small achievement. I state again my Government's strong support to the ongoing dialogue process between the two Koreas and between the U.S.A. and D.P.R.K.

As the popular Korean saying goes:

Shichagi Bhanida,

"A good beginning is half the battle”.

I have every confidence that with continued efforts from the Korean people, peace will soon prevail on the Korean Peninsula. Friends, I would like to end by quoting a portion of the 1988 Olympics Theme Song, because it perfectly captures the hopeful spirit for a better tomorrow for all of us: Hand in hand, we standAll across the land,We can make this world,A better place in which to live.

Gamsa Hamnida !

Thank you.

Thank you very much.




Read more: Prime Minister’s Acceptance Speech for the Seoul...

Union Home Minister inaugurates “Waste to Wonder” Park in South Delhi

The park sets an example of creation of ‘Wealth from waste', says Shri Rajnath Singh A Smart City cannot be imagined without a proper waste disposal and recycling system, says the Minister

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh said that waste disposal should be done properly for which the Municipal corporations will have to play a lead role. He was speaking at the inauguration of the “Waste to Wonder” Park under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) here today.

While giving suggestions to the Municipal corporations for waste disposal, the Home Minister said that this park has set an example for others, as for the first time scrap has been used to create ‘Wealth from waste’. The efforts should be made towards behavioural change of the people and proper arrangement should be made for waste disposal, he said. He added that a system should be developed for recycling of waste that can be reused. The products which cannot be recycled should be minimally used. Shri Rajnath Singh said that new ideas should be developed on how waste can be used in an innovative manner as was done by SDMC. He appreciated the dedication of the artists and officials involved in the endeavor who have completed the task of Wonder park in just 6 months.

On the occasion, the Union Home Minister paid tributes to the martyrs of Pulwama where CRPF jawans made supreme sacrifice.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Swachh Bharat Mission has become a mass movement that has brought about perceptible changes among the people and resulted in targeted behavioural changes towards cleanliness and hygiene. “We cannot imagine a Smart City without a proper waste disposal and recycling system,” he said.

The Home Minister appreciated that today all municipal bodies are competing among themselves for Swachh Sarvekshan. He lauded SDMC for improving its rank from 202 to 32 in Swachh Sarvekshan, 2018 ranking.

Praising the SDMC for several environment friendly initiatives such as the use of solar panels, LED street light project and achieving 100% ODF (Open Defecation Free) target. He called upon all other municipal bodies to adopt the Best Practices for Sustainable Development.


The main attractions of the “Seven Wonders Park” are the different sized tall replicas of the Taj Mahal (20 ft.), the Great Pyramid of Giza (18 ft.), the Eiffel Tower (60 ft.), the Leaning Tower of Pisa (25ft.), Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue (25 ft.), Rome’s Colosseum (15 ft.), and New York’s Statute of Liberty (30 ft.). The seven replicas have been made with the scrap of automobile parts and other metal waste like fans, rods, iron sheets, nut- bolts, bicycle & bike parts, defunct sewer lines and age old appliances gathering dust in the 24 Municipal Stores. In all 150 ton scrap/waste has been used.

On the occasion, the Home Minister also presented appreciation letters to the artists involved in the establishment of waste to wonder park.

The Lt. Governor of Delhi Shri Anil Baijal and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.



Read more: Union Home Minister inaugurates “Waste to...

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the Indian community in Korea. 

He thanked the Indian community in Seoul for the warm welcome they had accorded him.  

He said ties between India and Korea are not just on the basis of business contact. He said the main basis of the relationship between both countries is People To People Contact.

The Prime Minister referred to the age-old links between India and Korea, and recalled Queen Suryaratna who travelled thousands of kilometres from Ayodhya, and married a Korean King. He also recalled that recently on Diwali, the First Lady of Korea, Kim Jung-sook, had visited Ayodhya. 

The Prime Minister said that Buddhism had further strengthened these bonds of friendship between the two countries. 

The Prime Minister said that he is happy to note that the Indian community is contributing to development, research and innovation in Korea. 

He mentioned the popularity of Yoga and Indian festivals in Korea. He said Indian cuisine is also fast gaining popularity in Korea. He also spoke of the splendid performance of Korea in the Indian sport - Kabaddi - at the Asian Games. 

The Prime Minister described the Indian community all over the world, as ambassadors of India, whose hard work and discipline has raised India's stature worldwide. 

The Prime Minister said that India is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year. He said that the world must know more about Bapu, and it is our responsibility to pursue this objective. 

The Prime Minister said that India's ties with Korea are strengthening, and both countries are working together for peace, stability and prosperity in the region. He noted that Indian brands are now present in Korea, and Korean brands are household names in India. 

The Prime Minister spoke at length of the economic development that has taken place in India recently. 

He said India will soon become a 5 trillion dollar economy. 

He spoke of the phenomenal progress made in Ease of Doing Business, and in Ease of Living. He also mentioned reforms such as GST and cashless economy. 

He mentioned that the world is witnessing a financial inclusion revolution in India. In this context he spoke of bank accounts, insurance and Mudra loans. 

He said that India's prestige is rising because of several achievements. He mentioned free treatment for the poor, the tallest statue in the world - Statue of Unity, and Digital India. 

The Prime Minister also spoke of India's developments in the field of clean energy, and the formation of the International Solar Alliance. 

The Prime Minister said that there is a new energy in India today. He also mentioned that tomorrow, he shall receive the Seoul Peace Prize, on behalf of the people of India, and the Indian diaspora. 

The Prime Minister mentioned the ongoing Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj, and said the world was taking note of the cleanliness that had been kept at Kumbh this time. He exhorted the Indian community in Korea to promote tourism in India, by their own individual efforts. 




Read more: PM addresses Indian Community in Korea


Suresh Prabhu with Ministers and Heads of Delegation from ASEAN countries


Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, inaugurated the 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit 2019 in New Delhi today.Addressing the inaugural sessionSuresh Prabhureaffirmed India’s commitment to the path of mutual progress and prosperity and said   that terrorism knows no boundaries, it needs to be addressed through collective reaffirmenttowards promoting regional peace, stability and development.  In this fight against terrorism and mindless violence, events like India ASEAN Expo and Summit acquire a unique significance, as it epitomises our faith and commitment towards a path of shared prosperity, progress and peace.

The Commerce Minister recalled the participation of ASEAN ministers during the ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet and Expo 2018, organised on the side-lines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in January, 2018 and said that it provided us the much needed opportunity to engage on promotion of trade and investment collaborations. He also recalled the informal Mini Ministerial of WTO hosted by India in 2018 which was attended by 52 countries,including many ASEAN partners.  Suresh Prabhu said that the core idea behind organising this 4th India -ASEAN Expo and Summit is to build upon the success of the previous events and carry forward the momentum of the relationship built up over the years.   He said that this Summit is a testimony of India’s dedicated efforts towards Act East policy.

India and ASEAN represent fast moving economies.  The global headwinds have caused a softening of the global growth from 3.1% in 2018 to 3.0 % in 2019.  According to the recently published United Nations’ World Economic Situation and Prospects Report 2019, India and ASEAN are set to outpace the global growth. India continues to be the fastest growing major economy and is expected to grow at 7.2% in 2019 and ASEAN at 5.2%, with many economies within ASEAN with a growth of more than 6%.  Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) countries in ASEAN are also on a higher growth trajectory. This is indeed a manifestation of the new emerging world economic order, wherein India and ASEAN have a significant place. 

The Commerce Minister said trade is a buckle that binds India and ASEANtogether and   India’s vision of trade is not limited to exchange of goods and services.  He asserted that India believes in trade that brings about mutual collaboration, promoteslivelihood opportunities, brings in shared prosperity and binds us to a common future and a common destiny.

ASEAN has emerged as one of the second largest trade partner of India in 2017-18,with a share of 10.58% in India’s overall trade.  Our bilateral trade has grown more than threefold from USD 21 billion in 2005-06 to USD 81.33 billion in 2017-18. Despite escalating trade tensions and tightened credit market conditions, India and ASEAN present an alternative story.  In the recent years India’s trade with ASEAN has rebounded from US$ 65.06 billion in 2015-2016 to USD 81.33 billion in 2017-18, posting an annual growth of 13.64%.  India’s trade with ASEAN from April 2018 to December 2018 has already touched USD 72.3 billion compared to previous year, which is a growth of over 20.5%, which is an indicator of our strong economic and business connect and holds the key to our future engagements.

India currently is working with ASEAN on multiple connectivity projects, through land, water, and air.   Our projects like India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway, Kaladan Multinational Transit Transport Project, Project Development Fund for CLMV countries is crucial for our development. Exploring opportunities through connectivity projects will help India to remove physical impediments to trade with ASEAN countries and further integrate the two regions for better economic and trade relations. Increasing the rate of technology adoption and providing financing mechanisms is another challenge to expand growth.


The Minister said that India is constructively engaged in RCEP negotiations and believes that ASEAN will remain central to the economic integration of the Indo-Pacific region through RCEP.  Substantial progress has been achieved in the negotiations so far with the successful conclusion of 7 out of 16 chapters.  As negotiations have intensified, member countries are now engaged in bilateral pairing process to achieve mutually satisfactory and balanced outcomes, keeping in view each other’s sensitivities and aspirations.  As directed by our Leaders at the 2nd RCEP Summit in November last year in Singapore, we should all work concertedly towards early conclusion of RCEP and create a win-win situation for the greater prosperity of the people of the region.  A successful RCEP will lift the spirits of the global trade, which is facing challenges in terms of trade tensions amidst protectionism and unilateral measures.  Reiterating India’s commitment to make endeavours for successful conclusion of RCEP, Suresh Prabhuurged ASEAN colleagues to also engage in the review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreementto resolve the implementation issues being faced by our businesses on both sides. He also referred to successful accomplishment of 2nd Review of India Singapore CECA and signing of MRA in Nursing with Singapore.  This is a proof that we can continue to strengthen our bilateral relations, notwithstanding challenges faced by multilateral trading system.


During the last four years, Government of India has introduced several reform measures and initiatives, both through the legislative and executive routes in a wide range of areas including Goods and Services Tax, subsidies, labour, infrastructure, finance, investments as well as governance.   Suresh Prabhu said that most of the policy reforms that have been undertaken will bring transparency and enhance efficiency and open up immense opportunities for collaboration and investment. He also mentioned key flagship programmes like Make-in-India, Skill India, Invest India, and Digital India, which have improved the general economic and investment sentiments. Our mission is to bring in infrastructure, policies and practices that compete with best global standards to convert India into a global manufacturing hub. India has recorded a jump of 23 positions in the Ease of Doing Business rankings to be at 77thposition. We are now working towards improving Ease of Doing Business at States and districts within States of India.The government has identified ten ‘Champion Sectors’ under Make in India 2.0 that have the potential to grow at double digits and generate sufficient employment opportunities. These include, auto and auto components, biotechnology, defense & airspace, food processing and pharmaceuticals among others. The government has also announced 12 Champion Services for focused attention to promote their development.India has consistently improved its position in Global Innovationrankings and it now ranks at 57th position.


In last three years, the Government has embarked on a comprehensive programme to liberalize Foreign Direct Investments. Most of the sectors are now under automatic approval route. Foreign direct investment is now open for manufacturing in large number of sectors ranging from defence to pharmaceuticals, and several services including airlines, insurance, and single brand retailing. The government has also allowed 100% FDI in railways infrastructure like high-speed train systems, suburban corridors and dedicated freight line projects.


FDI policy now also includes start-ups. Start-ups can issue equity, equity linked instruments and debt instruments to foreign venture capital investors in accordance with FEMA rules. We have recently widened the definition of startups and have raised investment limit from Rs.10 crore to Rs.25 crore for availing tax exemptions to improve ease of doing business for startups.In the last four years, we have received FDI worth US$ 263 billion. This is 45 percent of the FDI received in last 18 years.


FDI in India is at a record high and India is among the top two emerging markets in the FDI Confidence Index.In the UNCTAD report 2018, India has been placed in the top three of the strongest economies of the future. 


Several reform measures have been taken in the power sector over the last few years whereby Indian power sector has improved significantly in terms of improved access to electricity, better financial health of DISCOMS and promotion of renewable energy generation. India has turned from a net importer of electricity to net exporter of electricity exporting around 5,798 million units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2017. From ranking 99th at the global level in 2014 in terms of electricity accessibility ranking (under Ease of Doing Business), India currently ranks 24th on this parameter.


One of the Government’s significant initiative for the people is the Medical Assurance Scheme called Ayushman Bharat. This shall benefit about 500 million people and will provide immense investment opportunities in the areas of health infrastructure, medical equipment manufacturing, and healthcare services.


India is experiencing rapid urbanization and to cater to this, Government has launched three mega urban schemes - Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All. Government’s plan to develop 100 smart cities and 500 AMRUT cities over the next five yearsoffer a USD 111 billion opportunity.


Leveraging Regional Value Chains (RVCs) is essential to take the India-ASEAN economic partnership to the next level. RVCs in the IT/ITES and apparel sector that already exist are evidence of the indirect benefit to skilling and development. With the introduction of GST in India, GVCs and RVCs will have a conducive environment to grow. The North East region, which is a development priority of the Government of India has great potential for this, in terms of natural resources and skilled labour. Also, India is a global hub for design and engineering R&D, that is critical to any value chain.As the global economy becomes increasingly digitalized, and technology as the great disruptor has the potential to be truly transformative, we have to be cognizant of the challenges and work together in the domain of cyber security and create regulation that is conducive to partnerships.


The Commerce Minister invited companies from ASEAN countries to take advantage of these opportunities for boosting trade with India and said there is immense scope for mutual collaboration in Services especially, healthcare, education, tourism, financial services, digital and artificial intelligence based services.  India can play a vital role in lowering healthcare costs in ASEAN countries, as India can provide international standard drugs and formulations at very reasonable cost.


Mr Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr. EnggartiastoLukita, Minister of Trade, The Republic of Indonesia, Dr. Than Myint, Union Minister, Ministry of Commerce, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Ms. ChutimaBunyapraphasara, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Commerce of Thailand, DatoLokman Hakim Bin Ali, Secretary General MITI, Mr. Lee Chuan Teck , Second Permanent Secretary, Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. DatoPadukaSidek Ali, High Commissioner of Brunei, Mr. BounnemeChouanghom, Ambassador of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mr. Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,  DatoPaduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of ASEAN and Dr.AnupWadhawan,  Secretary,  Department of Commerce, Government of India also spoke during the inaugural session.




Read more: 4th India-Asean Expo and Summit Inaugurated

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