PM Modi to launch ‘Voice of Global South’ today

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday inaugurate the two-day special virtual summit titled “Voice of Global South Summit” with the participation of over 120 developing nations. The list of participating nations has not yet been officially released by New Delhi, it is learnt no member of the powerful G-20 group (of which India is now the president), including China, has been invited as New Delhi’s reasoning is that “India’s ongoing presidency of the G-20 provides a special and strong opportunity for those countries that are not part of the G-20 process to share their ideas and expectations from the G-20”. It is not clear if any invitation has been extended to Pakistan.

Several heads of state/government and senior ministers of developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America are expected to participate. The move will vastly help India give a voice to the developing world ahead of the G-20 summit to be held under India’s presidency in September in New Delhi. The summit will also include a session on “suggestions for India’s G-20 presidency”. Mr Modi will participate in the inaugural and concluding sessions of the summit.

The theme of the summit would be “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose”. Foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra had said last week that the objective of the summit would be to share the perspectives and priorities of countries of the Global South (developing nations) on a common platform for “deliberations, ideas and solutions”. He added that the summit was inspired by Mr Modi’s vision of “Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas” (inclusivity, development, confidence and efforts of all) and India’s philosophy of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” (the world is one family).

The summit will comprise 10 sessions, of which two will be of the heads of state/government level while eight will be at the ministerial level. Each session is expected to witness the participation of leaders/ministers from 10 to 20 countries. Mr Modi will host both the inaugural session on Thursday and the concluding session on Friday. The theme of the inaugural leaders’ session is “Voice of Global South — for Human-Centric Development” and that of the concluding leaders’ session is “Unity of Voice — Unity of Purpose”.

The summit is expected to discuss issues such as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis on rising prices and shortages of food, fertilisers and fuel being faced by the developing world. It will also discuss issues of climate change, climate finance and climate technology. The summit will also discuss the increasing burden of debt and inflation on the developing nations.

The first day of the summit on Thursday will comprise four ministerial sessions, including a finance ministers’ session on “Financing People-Centric Development”, an environment ministers’ session on balancing growth with an environment-friendly lifestyle, and a foreign ministers’ session on priorities of the Global South.  The second and last day of the summit on Friday will see six ministerial sessions, including an energy ministers’ session on “Energy Security and Development — Roadmap to Prosperity”, a health ministers’ session on “Cooperation to Build Resilient Healthcare Systems”, and an education ministers’ session on “Human Resources Development and Capacity Building”, a commerce & trade ministers’ session on “Developing Synergies in the Global South — Trade, Technology, Tourism and Resources”, and another foreign ministers’ session on “G-20: Suggestions for India’s Presidency”.

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