Saying that peace is the only pre-requisite for progress, the Vice President said that in an inter-dependent world, progress can be achieved only through dialogue and understanding."When the world becomes peaceful for the birds, the birds will sing a harmonious chorale" ― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
The Vice President lauded the contributions of the Diaspora in the fiels of science and technology, industry, agriculture, art, culture, governance or politics, their strong contributions and successes are as much a matter of pride for France, the country of their settlement, as they are for India, the country of their origin.
Saying that India is proud of the achievements of Indian Diaspora, the Vice President said that interacting with Indian Diaspora was like conversing within a growing but close-knit family. Persons of Indian origin and Indians abroad have excelled in many areas of French public life, with many as members in the French Parliament as well as in the European Parliament, he added.
Reminding the gathering about long and mutually enriching association with the French, the Vice President said that Rabindranath Tagore's intellectual influence was known to have touched several French thinkers. Indian luminaries like Madame Bhikaji Cama and JRD Tata, who were significant figures in India's pre-independence history, too had strong links with France, he added.
Saying that bold reforms agenda of the Government is transforming the academic landscape of our country, the Vice President said that the story of India is an unfolding and a promising one. This is at a time when the rest of the world, including parts of this region, is experiencing a slowdown, he said.
He said that the introduction of Goods and Service Tax was a major step to have seamless and efficient national market and added that it would make it easier for businesses to establish and grow in India.
"...it will be a world made not bright but brighter, not clean but cleaner."
Mr Naidu invited the members of Indian Diaspora to take active participation in the creation of New India. He asked them to make use of the time and suitable opportunities for investment and innovation in India. It is also an important time to connect actively with your roots, he added.
The Vice President also talked about the joint efforts of India and France to promote the use of clean energy by way of International Solar Alliance. He further said that India-France development partnership brought mutual rewards to both of our economies, especially in the field of smart urbanization and transportation.
Earlier the Vice President interacted with Director General of UNESCO Ms. Audrey Azoulay and apprised her about India's efforts to achieve the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in all the fields including education. They also discussed matters such as usage of information and communication technologies to improve access to education, enhancing the quality of teaching-learning process and teacher development programmes, strengthening educational planning and management, and improving monitoring systems.
The Vice President is in Paris, France to attend the centenary year of end of First World War. He will also be participating at a global event at Arc d' Trionphe in which he will pay homage to the martyrs of World War I.
"It had been a war of kingly poisons, in the air, in the memory, in the blood." ― Sebastian Barry, A Long Long Way
He will also inaugurate the Indian Armed Forces Memorial at Villers Guislain as a tribute to several thousands of Indian soldiers whose gallantry and dedication have earned worldwide recognition.
Mr Naidu's visit France assumes significance as India and France are celebrating two decades of strategic partnership this year.