Your voice is India’s voice; your priorities are India’s priorities: PM Modi to countries of Global South
New Delhi: The world is in a state of crisis and the developing countries should come together to redesign global political and financial governance that can remove inequalities and enlarge opportunities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a virtual summit of leaders of the Global South hosted by India.
In his remarks at the opening session of the two-day Voice of Global South Summit, Modi referred to pressing global challenges such as food and energy security triggered by the Ukraine conflict, terrorism and the climate change and said the developing countries are feeling the impact of the situation though they were not responsible for it.
“We have turned the page on another difficult year, that saw war, conflict, terrorism and geo-political tensions, rising food, fertilizer and fuel prices, climate-change driven natural disasters, and lasting economic impact of the Covid pandemic,” he said.
“It is clear the world is in a state of crisis. It is difficult to predict how long this state of instability will last,” Modi said.
He said there is a need to “re-energise” the world, and pitched for a global agenda of ‘Respond, Recognise, Respect and Reform’ to deal with the challenges.
“Respond to the priorities of the Global South by framing an inclusive and balanced international agenda, and recognise that the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ applies to all global challenges,” he said.
“Respect sovereignty of all nations, rule of law and peaceful resolution of differences and disputes and reform international institutions, including the United Nations, to make them more relevant,” Modi added.
Leaders of several countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guyana, Mozambique, Mongolia and Senegal were among those who attended the summit.
The ‘global South’ largely refers to the developing countries, especially those in Asia, Africa and South America.
“As far as India is concerned, your voice is India’s voice. Your priorities are India’s priorities,” Modi asserted.
He said the global south should no longer be excluded from the fruits of development and they must attempt to redesign global political and financial governance.
“For our G20 Presidency, we have picked the theme of — ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. This is in line with our civilizational ethos. We believe the path to realise ‘oneness’ is through human-centric development,” he said.
“People of the Global South should no longer be excluded from the fruits of development. Together we must attempt to redesign global political and financial governance. This can remove inequalities, enlarge opportunities, support growth and spread progress and prosperity,” Modi said.
He said most of the global challenges have not been created by the Global South.
“But they affect us more. We have seen this in the impacts of Covid pandemic, climate change, terrorism and even the Ukraine conflict. The search for solutions also does not factor in our role or our voice.”
“We, the Global South, have the largest stakes in the future. Three fourths of humanity lives in our countries. We should also have an equivalent voice. Hence, as the eight-decade old model of global governance slowly changes, we should try to shape the emerging order,” he said.
Modi noted that India has always shared its developmental experience with our “brothers of the Global South”.
“Our development partnerships cover all geographies and diverse sectors. We supplied medicines and vaccines to over 100 countries during the pandemic. India has always stood for a greater role for developing countries in determining our common future,” he said.
The prime minister said India will work to highlight the priorities and challenges of developing countries.
“As India begins its G20 presidency this year, it is natural that our aim is to amplify the voice of the Global South. For our G20 presidency, we have picked the theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’,” he said.
Modi sounded optimistic in finding solutions to the problems unitedly.
“Despite the challenges the developing world faces, I remain optimistic that our time is coming. The need of the hour is to identify simple, scalable and sustainable solutions that can transform our societies and economies,” he said.
“With such an approach, we shall overcome the difficult challenges – whether it is poverty, universal healthcare or building human capacities. In the last Century, we supported each other in our fight against foreign rule. We can do it again in this Century, to create a new World Order that will ensure the welfare of our citizens,” he said.
In his concluding remarks, Modi thanked the leaders for their “insightful statements”.
“From your words, it is clear that human-centric development is an important priority for developing countries. Today’s interventions also brought out the common challenges that are on the top of all our minds,” he said.
“These mainly concern the lack of resources for our development needs, and increasing instability both in the natural climate and the geopolitical climate. Despite this, it is also clear that we developing countries are full of positive energy, full of confidence,” he said.
The prime minister said the developed countries were the drivers of the global economy in the 20th century.
“Today, most of these advanced economies are slowing down. Clearly, in the 21st century, global growth will come from countries of the South. I think that if we work together, we can set the global agenda,” he said.
Modi said the voice of the Global South needs to set its own tone. “Together, we need to escape the cycle of dependency on systems and circumstances which are not of our making,” he added.
India is hosting the two-day summit to bring together countries of the global South and provide them a common platform to share their common concerns relating to various global challenges including food and energy security triggered by the Ukraine conflict.
The theme of the inaugural leaders’ session is “Voice of Global South – for Human-Centric Development” while the Leaders’ concluding session will be on “Unity of Voice-Unity of Purpose”.
The summit envisages 10 sessions out of which four are on Thursday while six sessions would take place on Friday. Each session is expected to witness the participation of leaders and ministers from 10-20 countries.