India has walked the talk: EAM Jaishankar at 2nd Voice of Global South Summit
India will always have the Global South at the centre of its international partnerships, says EAM Jaishankar
India has walked the talk in highlighting the key concerns and priorities of the Global South, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said as he spoke the 2nd Voice of the Global South Summit virtually on Friday (November 17, 2023).
He quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's declaration as India took over the G20 Presidency last year: "Our G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow travelers from the Global South, whose voice often goes unheard.”
"India has since walked the talk, by hosting the 1st Voice of Global South Summit in January this year. By doing so, we were able to elicit and deliberate on the key concerns and priorities of the Global South. This, in turn, informed our approach to the G20 discussions throughout the year," EAM Jaishankar said in his opening remarks at the Foreign Ministers’ Session- I of the 2nd Voice of Global South Summit.
Referring to the growing stress on the international economy and global society, EAM Jaishankar said structural inequities had been seriously aggravated by the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic. This had been made even worse by the fuel, food and fertilizer crises emanating from the Ukraine conflict and its responses, he added.
"Resource challenges, financial constraints, disrupted trade and climate events have added to our burdens. As a result, growth prospects are as daunting as the SDG landscape is grim," he noted.
According to EAM Jaishankar, India reaffirms its commitment to the Global South through an extensive range of development projects in 78 countries.
"These projects are demand driven, outcome oriented, transparent and sustainable. I assure you that this will only expand in its scale and scope in the times ahead. We will always welcome your views, suggestions and proposals in this context," he explained.
As India embraces digital delivery, promotes green growth and ensures affordable health access, it will always have the Global South at the centre of its international partnerships, he pointed out.
"Perhaps, the most satisfying outcome of our G20 Presidency was the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member. By doing so, we have given voice to 1.4 billion people of Africa," he said.
According to him, the Voice of Global South Summit can be greatly impactful, by amplifying individual voices, and project shared interests for the emerging world order.
Similarly, institutions such as the International Solar Alliance, the Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and the recently announced One Future Alliance serve to offer solutions from the Global South for the World’s most pressing challenges, he added.
EAM Jaishankar used the opportunity to highlight the need to work towards self-reliance to mitigate vulnerabilities vis-à-vis economic concentrations.
"The Covid era is a stark reminder of the perils of dependence for basic necessities on far away geographies. We need to not only democratize and diversify production, but build resilient and reliable supply chains and promote local solutions. Only then can the Global South secure its future," he said in conclusion.