India, the voice of global South - Hindustan Times

India, the voice of global South

ByHT Editorial
Nov 08, 2022 10:19 PM IST

As it begins its G20 presidency, India’s focus on shared prosperity will hold it in good stead

Prosperity and peace in the global South will be the focus of India’s presidency of the G20. This was the clear import of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address unveiling the logo, website and agenda of the presidency under the theme Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or one earth, one family, one future. As one of the biggest multilateral platforms commanding 85% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and two-thirds of its population, the G20 wields significant influence, especially among the developed countries in North America and Europe. As Mr Modi outlined, this presidency places a great responsibility on India’s shoulders, not only to advocate its own agenda, but also to chart a path that is beneficial to the populations of fellow developing countries that are currently torn between the machinations of Great Power conflict, economic headwinds, and adverse impacts of the climate crisis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils the of logo, theme and website of India’s G20 Presidency, via video conferencing. (PTI) PREMIUM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils the of logo, theme and website of India’s G20 Presidency, via video conferencing. (PTI)

Mr Modi indicated that India understood the responsibilities. He said the presidency was beginning at a time of crisis and chaos in a world disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, prolonged conflict, and economic uncertainty. He underlined the uniqueness of India’s position as a country that understood the priorities of the developed countries and appreciated the challenges and ambitions of the developing world, thereby allowing it to act as a bridge to meet expectations. This singular position has been made possible by a mix of old and new. India’s decades-long championing of the causes of the global South and poorer nations allowed it to become a leader of developing countries. And its new brand of interest-based engagement, free from ideological or dogmatic fetters, has allowed it to leverage its strengths in an uncertain world.

New Delhi takes over the reins of G20 at a crucial bend in global geopolitics. It is increasingly clear, as foreign minister S Jaishankar said in Moscow during his meeting with his Russian counterpart, that the world is moving towards multipolarity and rebalancing. As is evident in its simultaneous presidency of the G20 and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, India remains ready to engage with all sides and unafraid to secure its wide range of interests. But this new, robust mode of diplomacy has an ideological underpinning. As Mr Modi reminded everyone, it is to secure a more prosperous and harmonious world. And, as the South-up map of the world placed on the lotus in the G20 logo underscored, it is to help the global South envision a better future.

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