New Delhi : At the ‘Voice of the Global South Summit’ hosted in virtual mode by India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on leaders of the Global South to unite to forge a common agenda for their own development and for the three-fourth of humanity.
It was an illustrious case of taking a huge leap in becoming a “voice” for 125 countries that comprises low income countries. The two-day ‘Voice of Global South’ summit was held under the theme – ‘Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose’. This was in fact the first time India organised such a meeting of the Global South.
Of the 125 countries participating in the summit, 29 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, 47 countries from Africa, 31 from Asia, 11 from Oceania and seven from Europe.
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina thanked the Government of India for inviting Bangladesh to this important summit that would give it an unique opportunity to engage with counterparts worldwide.
PM Hasina and others congratulated Narendra Modi and the Government of India on the assumption of the G20 Presidency and welcomed India’s vision as the President of G20 to ensure inclusive development under the theme, “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
PM Modi said India wants globalisation that does not lead to unequal distribution of vaccines or over-concentrated global supply chains. “We, the developing countries, are also concerned about the increasing fragmentation of the international landscape. These geo-political tensions distract us from focusing on our development priorities”.
The last three years have been difficult, especially for the developing nations, he said. The challenges of the COVID pandemic, rising prices of fuel, fertiliser and foodgrains, and increasing geo-political tensions have impacted development efforts.
In a significant announcement, PM Modi announced the “Aarogya Maitri” project, whereby the country will provide essential medical supplies to any developing country affected by natural disasters or humanitarian crises.
PM Modi also said that India would launch the Global South Science and Technology Initiative to share its expertise in areas such as space technology and nuclear energy, and establish the Global South Center of Excellence.
The two-day summit was aimed at generating ideas from developing countries to be deliberated at the G20 during India’s presidency.
PM Modi said, “We all appreciate the principle of globalisation. India’s philosophy has always seen the world as one family. However, developing countries desire globalisation that does not create Climate Crisis or Debt Crisis. We want globalisation that does not lead to unequal distribution of vaccines or over-concentrated global supply chains. In short, we want a human-centric globalisation”.
He further stated that geo-political tensions distract developing countries from focusing on development priorities.
“They cause sharp swings in international prices of food, fuel, fertilisers and other commodities. To address this geo-political fragmentation, we urgently need a fundamental reform of the major international organisations, including the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods institutions”.
“These reforms should focus on giving voice to the concerns of the developing world, and reflect the realities of the 21st Century,” the Prime Minister said.
In the Finance Ministers’ session, leaders exchanged views on financing the development needs of the Global South, achieving financial inclusion, implementing of digital public goods in the financial sector, and development partnerships that are outcome-oriented and financially sustainable. The Environment Ministers’ session focused attention on balancing growth with sustainability, sharing of best practices in ecological conservation, and the importance of lifestyle for the Environment launched by
Prime Minister Modi in October 2022.
The Ministers also called for accelerated climate action and delivery of climate finance and loss and damage funding to deal with growing climate impacts.
In the Foreign Ministers’ session, the Ministers expressed concern over the increasing fragmentation of the international landscape. They urged the international community to address the triple challenge of food, fuel and fertiliser shortages.