The two-day special virtual “Voice of Global South Summit” was held on 13 January. It was hosted by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The overall theme of the Summit, and of the Concluding Leaders’ session also, was “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose”. Prime Minister Shri Modi also hosted the inaugural session of the meet, under the theme “Voice of Global South – for Human-Centric Development”. In addition to the two sessions at the level of the Heads of State and Heads of the Government, there were eight Ministerial sessions held across various issues which
A sum total of 125 countries participated in this new and unique initiative. These included 29 countries from Latin America & Caribbean, 47 countries from Africa, 7 countries from Europe, 31 countries from Asia and 11 countries from Oceania.
are of relevance, importance and significance to the developing countries across the world.
One thing which came across clearly during the Summit was the need for articulating the voice of the Global South in international institutions and for reforming them for a balanced representation of the developing world. This came out very strongly through the Summit. In this context, India’s role and in particular the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was deeply appreciated across by all the speakers. It would not be incorrect to say that India’s presidency would be the first ever G20 presidency perhaps that can claim to have captured the sentiment and views of the entire developing world – not just limit itself to the large economies’ perspective.
The Summit received a strong, positive response across the world. Participants during their interventions, during the course of summit and across various sessions thanked the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his personal leadership which was instrumental in conceptualizing and crystallizing the Voice of Global South at a
PM hosts ‘Voice of Global South Summit’
time which is particularly difficult for the developing world facing as it is numerous challenges across economic and political domains. There was also uniform acknowledgement that the agenda of the Summit echoed very much the priorities, the perspectives and concerns of the developing world. In particular, Prime Minister’s offer to share India’s experiences and successful solution templates in various sectors, be it health sector, be it the sector of finance, in particular, financing of development, financial inclusion, how to successfully deploy technology to overcome the developmental challenges and meet the developmental priorities and prerogatives in the developing world. Digital public goods, financial inclusion, our experiences in leveraging technology for development in the health sector etc. was deeply appreciated by the fellow developing countries’ leaders during the Summit. There was also appreciation for India’s willingness to assist the world in the past through the Vaccine Maitri.
During the sessions, participants from across the developing world also shared their own experiences, their own concerns, their own aspirations, their own best practices which they offered and they put on the table.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave a call for 4Rs – ‘Respond, Recognize, Respect and Reform’ in context of various priorities of the developing world. He also clearly told the participants and that “Your voice is India’s voice; your priorities are India’s priorities”. Prime Minister also announced a number of new initiatives by India in connection with the Global South Summit and these include – AarogyaMaitri, the Global South. He fleshed it out in some details in his closing remarks; Global South Centre of Excellence; Global South Science and Technology Initiative; Global South Young Diplomats Forum; Global South Scholarships.