Diplomatist Magazine Diplomatist April 2018 - Page 56

AFRICA DIARY The role of France in the ISA will be that of the leading provider of solar technology. France is ranked 4th in the EU in terms of installed PV capacity. At home, it has large solar parks installed such as the Cestas Solar Park. multifaceted manner”. Visits of President Chirac and Prime Minister Vajpayee to each other's countries in 1998 resulted in a joint working group in 1999 to coordinate action for the growth of alternative energy among other areas of interest. These two great leaders were far ahead of their time in conceptualising ISA as it stands today. While Prime Minister Vajpayee’s selfl essness, vision, and integrity are undisputed, perhaps many in India may not recall that it was President Chirac who had argued that India’s exclusion from the global nuclear order was unacceptable and needed to be corrected. This was in January 1998, only a few months before India conducted its nuclear tests. Again it was President Chirac who had the courage of conviction to refuse to support the invasion of Iraq. During his time in the Elysee Palace, he had built such strong relations with the developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, that babies were named in his honour, a street named after him in Beirut and the best dates produced by Arab nations named Chirac dates. Since then France and India have together given shape to the ISA since their leaders had felt there was a great need for a setup like the ISA in today's world and an equally great need to connect with developing countries everywhere. In a speech in November 2015 at the UK’s Wembley Stadium, embracing millions around the world with Indian sentiments, Prime Minister Modi referred to the citizens of “sunshine” countries, as Suryaputra ("Sons of the Sun"). Launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015, ISA’s interim Secretariat was jointly inaugurated in January 2016 by Prime Minister Modi and President Hollande. At the founding conference a few days The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on March 11, 2018. 54 • Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist • Vol 6 • Issue 4 • April 2018, Noida