Addressing the opening session of Voice of Global South summit, for which he was joined by leaders of 10 countries, Modi proposed a four-point global agenda of ‘Respond, Recognise, Respect and Reform’ to, as he said, re-energise the world. This included responding to Global South priorities by framing an inclusive and balanced international agenda; recognising that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities applies to all global challenges; respecting sovereignty of all nations, rule of law and peaceful resolution of differences and disputes; and lastly, reforming global institutions, including the UN, to make them more relevant.
The opening session hosted by Modi was followed by three other sessions between the finance, environment and foreign ministers. While the two-day summit is not a G20 meeting, the government is hoping to use it as a platform where developing countries who are not a part of the G20 mechanism can share their ideas and expectations with the premier global forum for economic cooperation.
Leaders of several countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guyana, Mozambique, Mongolia and Senegal were among those who attended the summit.
Modi said the world is in the middle of a crisis and it’s not clear how long the instability, triggered by war, geopolitical tensions, rising prices and terrorism will last, while adding that people of Global South should no longer be excluded from the fruits of development.
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“We, the Global South, have the largest stakes in the future. Three-fourth of humanity lives in our countries. We should also have equivalent voice. Hence, as the eight-decade old model of global governance slowly changes, we should try to shape the emerging order,’’ he said, while underscoring the need to escape the cycle of dependency on systems and circumstances which are not of developing world’s making.
“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 the Covid pandemic, climate change, terrorism and even the Ukraine conflict. The search for solutions also does not factor in our role or our voice,’’ added the PM, while recalling India’s assistance to the developing world, including by supplying medicines and vaccines to more than 100 countries.
Despite the challenges the developing world faces, Modi said, he was 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. 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,” said the PM adding that the summit will cover eight priority areas and that the ideas emerging from it can form the basis of the developing world’s voice in G20 and other global forums.
“In India, we have a prayer which means, may noble thoughts come to us from all directions of the universe. This Voice of Global South Summit is a collective effort for gaining noble ideas for our collective future,’’ said the PM.
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