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India to host virtual summit to flag challenges facing countries of global South on Jan 12 & 13

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said more than 120 countries are being invited for the 'Voice of Global South' summit whose theme would be 'Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose'.

Reported By: PTI New Delhi Published on: January 06, 2023 21:56 IST
EAM S Jaishankar
Image Source : PTI EAM S Jaishankar

India will host a virtual summit on January 12 and 13 to bring together countries of the global South and share their common concerns, interests and perspectives relating to various global challenges including food and energy security triggered by the Ukraine conflict. Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said more than 120 countries are being invited for the 'Voice of Global South' summit whose theme would be 'Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose'.

At a media briefing, Kwatra said concerns and apprehensions of the developing countries often do not receive due attention at the global stage and the purpose of the summit would be to address these elements of "our concerns and priorities". Asked whether Pakistan, China and Ukraine have been invited, Kwatra did not give a direct reply and said names of the participating countries will be made public in due course. Kwatra cited food security, climate finance, fertiliser shortage, mounting debt and inflationary pressures as some of the burdens on the developing countries.

"You are all aware of the recent global developments which have severely impacted the developing world across many domains. Some elements of this impact include the Covid pandemic, the impact of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, increasing difficulties of access and affordability of food, fertiliser and fuel," he said. Often however, these concerns of the developing world do not receive due attention and space on the global stage, Kwatra noted.

"Often also the relevant existing platforms have proven to be inadequate in addressing these challenges and concerns of the developing countries. As such a consultative and outcome oriented conversation focused on the most pressing concerns, interests and priorities of the developing countries is a need of the hour," he said. The 'global South' largely refers to countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

The foreign secretary said the Voice of Global South summit is India's endeavour to provide a common platform to deliberate on these concerns, interests and priorities that affect the developing countries. "Also to exchange ideas and solutions, and most importantly to unite in voice and purpose in addressing these elements of our concerns and priorities," he said. The foreign secretary said India will work to ensure that the valuable inputs generated from partner countries in the summit deliberations receive due cognisance globally.

He said India's ongoing presidency of the G20 provides it a special and strong opportunity to channelise these inputs into the deliberations and discourse of the grouping. This is in line with the Prime Minister's statement that India's G20 Presidency will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow-travellers in the Global South, whose voice often goes unheard, he said. Kwatra said the initiative to host the summit is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas, and is underpinned by India's philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family).

The Summit envisages 10 sessions. Four sessions would be held on 12 January, and six sessions on 13 January. Each session is expected to witness the participation of leaders/ministers from 10-20 countries. The inaugural and concluding sessions would be at Head of State/ Government level, to be hosted by Modi. The theme of the inaugural leaders; session is 'Voice of Global South - for Human-Centric Development'. In addition, there would be eight ministerial sessions including one on finance ministers' session on "Financing People-Centric Development".

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