Not long ago, the measure of a nation's greatness was the size of its military or its economic strength or its capacity to dominate friends and adversaries. But in this interconnected and interdependent world in which we live, greatness will be more and more defined by the power of a nation's examples, the persuasive appeal of its values, and its ability to galvanize others to work in concert to find solutions to problems.
In this new century, there is a premium on the traditions and values that the United States and India share. Democracy and diversity, pluralism and public service; these remain great assets. However imperfect our nations may be, our core ideals guide us as we seek not only to broaden our partnership, but to set examples and bring others along with us.
So these times demand that we find new ways of working together. And when we talk about what we must do, it is important to particularly enlist the energy and the hope of the young people who, in our country and yours, have such an opportunity now to influence world events. Look at what was happening during the aftermath of the elections in Iran – young people were using technology to communicate to the outside world. Or a recent example from Colombia, which has been fighting the narco-traffickers and the criminal cartel, where two young men used the internet to organise a massive demonstration on behalf of peace.
So the good news is that regardless of how daunting these global challenges are, there are answers to every single one of them already in operation somewhere in the world, and many right here in India.
I have seen some of the future just in the last several days. I visited fields where scientists and researchers are developing new seeds and irrigation techniques to help rural farmers grow their crops in harsh climates, which will help alleviate hunger and raise standards of living in India and across South Asia. I toured the ITC Green Centre not far from here, which is truly what I called a monument to the future, a cutting-edge green building that uses energy conservation and recycling to reduce greenhouse gas emission, save water, and save costs.
This is an edited extract from a speech given by the US Secretary of State at the town hall at Delhi University on 20 JulyReuse content