India emphasizes forward-thinking global governance and champions the concerns of the Global South
In the lead-up to the 2024 Summit of the Future, India has emphasized a vision of comprehensive global governance.

Speaking at the preparatory ministerial meeting for the summit at the United Nations in New York on September 22, 2023, India's representative, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs Sanjay Verma, praised the endeavours of co-facilitators Namibia and Germany, while highlighting the crucial need for an inclusive and forward-thinking tomorrow, ensuring the pitfalls of the past aren't repeated.

The meeting, which precedes the September 2024 Summit of the Future, offered a platform for ministers to present their visions and priorities. The summit itself is hailed as a landmark opportunity to uphold global collaboration, rectify governance gaps, and renew commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Charter. The overall aim is a rejuvenated multilateral system that tangibly improves lives worldwide.

India’s contribution during its G20 Presidency is notable. Emphasizing the concerns of the Global South, India ensured these issues were prominent on the G20 Agenda. According to Verma, the New Delhi Leaders Declaration has covered the five key chapters identified for the Scope of the Summit of the Future.

Here is a closer look at the issues India's representative raised at the meeting.

Sustainable Development & Financing:

India champions an ambitious Green Development Pact targeting a twofold increase in Climate Finance. India’s emphasis on the Green Development Pact and the Global Digital Compact speaks to its dual goals of economic growth and sustainable development. As one of the world's fastest-growing economies, India is at the forefront of bridging the traditional development model with one that is environmentally conscious. This commitment is not just for international consumption but has domestic implications as well. India's national programs, such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) and the massive push towards renewable energy sources, were used to evidence this commitment.

International Peace and Security: 

A call to all states to uphold international law principles, including respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty. India's emphasis on the concerns of the Global South isn't just strategic but stems from its historical non-aligned stance. Since its independence, India has often been a voice for the countries that lie between the major power blocs, advocating for a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. This role has become even more critical in today's multipolar world, where new alliances and partnerships are constantly being forged.

Science, Technology, Innovation & Digital Cooperation

A comprehensive framework is sought for the development, deployment, and governance of Digital Public Infrastructure systems. In the technological realm, India's reference to its vast number of monthly digital transactions is a nod to the country's rapid digital transformation. Programs like the Digital India campaign aim to empower citizens by improving online infrastructure and increasing internet connectivity. Moreover, innovations like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) have revolutionized digital payments, making transactions seamless and accessible even for those without traditional banking facilities., India welcomes the Summit of the Future's objective to establish a Global Digital Compact, aiming to bridge digital divides. Boasting over 10 billion digital transactions monthly, India sees digital infrastructure as public and global, and believes it has a significant role to play in this domain.

Youth and Future Generations

With a majority young populace, India recognizes the importance of youth at the core of the G20 agenda. The 'One Future Alliance' is evidence of this belief. India's stress on youth engagement isn't merely rhetoric. As a nation with more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and approximately 65% below 35, India understands the importance of harnessing this demographic dividend. The youth-centric policies, ranging from skill development programs to startup incubation initiatives, reflect this vision. By emphasizing youth's role at the international level, India plans on sending a strong message about the importance of incorporating younger voices in global policy-making and ensuring long-term, sustainable decisions.

Transforming Global Governance

A groundbreaking move recognized was Africa’s permanent position in the G20, demonstrating that with political will, multilateralism can indeed reform. India's call for rethinking the architecture of global governance indicates its readiness to play a more active role in global institutions. The critique of the UN Security Council's outdated structure resonates with many nations that believe the Council no longer reflects today's geopolitical realities. As a country that has long aspired for a permanent seat in the Council, India is pushing not just for its own representation but for a more democratized United Nations where power dynamics from the mid-20th century don't dictate current decisions. India's leadership in institutions such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and its pivotal role in forums like the Non-Aligned Movement demonstrate its commitment to a multilateral world order.

As the world’s largest democracy, India cherishes the importance of the Summit’s Declaration on Future Generation, which provides avenues for impactful youth participation, especially in the UN system. True democracy and equity, as per India, hinge on the principle of proportional representation.

Addressing global challenges, India's representative pointed to the COVID pandemic and the Ukraine conflict as key disruptors of the multilateral system. They also drew attention to the pressing need to resolve issues surrounding climate finance, counter-terrorism double standards, and selectivity in SDG priorities.

An impassioned plea was made to re-envision the architecture of global governance for 2025 and beyond. The foundation laid in 1945, which gave birth to the UN Security Council, was scrutinized, with India asserting that the future cannot be dictated by the perspectives of the past. The Summit of the Future, it was stressed, must offer concrete answers on Security Council reforms within a set timeline.

Concluding the statement, India’s representative asserted that the Summit’s success will be gauged on its ability to deliver reformed multilateralism. The emphasis was clear: the upcoming summit must not become a reflection of bygone eras but must pave the way for a collaborative and inclusive future.