I welcome you to the Voice of Global South Summit.
Over the past 2-days, this Summit has seen the participation of more than 120 developing countries – the largest-ever virtual gathering of the Global South.
I am privileged to have your company in this concluding session.
The last 3 years have been difficult, especially for us developing nations.
The challenges of the COVID pandemic, rising prices of fuel, fertilizer and foodgrains, and increasing geo-political tensions have impacted our development efforts.
However, the start of a new year is a time for fresh hope. So let me first extend my good wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, peaceful, secure and successful 2023.
We all appreciate the principle of globalisation. India’s philosophy has always seen the world as one family.
However, developing countries desire a globalization that does not create Climate Crisis or Debt Crisis.
We want a globalisation that does not lead to unequal distribution of vaccines or over-concentrated global supply chains.
We want a globalisation that brings prosperity and well-being to humanity as a whole. In short, we want a ‘human-centric globalisation’.
We developing countries are also concerned about the increasing fragmentation of the international landscape.
These geopolitical tensions distract us from focusing on our development priorities.
They cause sharp swings in international prices of food, fuel, fertilizers and other commodities.
To address this geopolitical fragmentation, we urgently need a fundamental reform of the major international organisations, including the United Nations Security Council and the Bretton Woods institutions.
These reforms should focus on giving voice to the concerns of the developing world, and reflect the realities of the 21st Century.
India’s G20 Presidency will attempt to voice the views of the Global South on these important issues.
In its development partnerships, India’s approach has been consultative, outcome oriented, demand driven, people-centric, and respectful of the sovereignty of partner countries.
I firmly believe that countries of the Global South have a lot to learn from each other’s development experiences.
I am happy to announce that India will establish a “Global-South Center of Excellence”.
This institution will undertake research on development solutions or best-practices of any of our countries, which can be scaled and implemented in other members of the Global South.
As an example, the digital public goods developed by India in fields like electronic-payments, health, education, or e-governance, can be useful for many other developing countries.
India has also made great strides in areas like space technology and nuclear energy. We will launch a ‘Global-South Science & Technology initiative’ to share our expertise with other developing nations.
During the COVID pandemic, India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative supplied made-in-India vaccines to over a 100 nations.
I would now like to announce a new ‘Aarogya Maitri’ project. Under this project, India will provide essential medical supplies to any developing country affected by natural disasters or humanitarian crisis.
For synergising our diplomatic voice, I propose a ‘Global-South Young Diplomats Forum’, to connect youthful officers of our foreign ministries.
India will also institute ‘Global-South Scholarships’ for students from developing countries to pursue higher education in India.
The theme of today’s session is inspired by the ancient wisdom of India.
A prayer from the Rig Veda – the oldest text known to humanity – says:
संगच्छध्वं संवदध्वं सं वो मनांसि जानताम्
which means: Let us come together, speak together, and may our minds be in harmony.
Or in other words, ‘Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose’.
In this spirit, I look forward to listening to your views and suggestions.
JAN 13, 2023