Amitabh Kant draws attention towards ‘Global South’ at G20 Sherpas’ meet

Published on Dec 05, 2022 01:30 PM IST

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said the country’s G20 presidency will seek to advocate oneness in line with the theme of ‘One Earth One Family One Future’

Amitabh Kant addresses the first G20 Sherpa meeting in Udaipur. (ANI Photo)
Amitabh Kant addresses the first G20 Sherpa meeting in Udaipur. (ANI Photo)

Challenges confronting the global community can be solved only by collective action and the focus should be on the Global South or developing countries, whose needs are the greatest, India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on Monday as deliberations began on setting the agenda for India’s G20 presidency.

The G20 Sherpas, or personal representatives of the heads of state and government and top officials of multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and World Bank, are participating in two sessions at Taj Fateh Prakash hotel on the banks of Lake Pichola in Rajasthan’s Udaipur to discuss technological transformation and green development.

In a speech outlining India’s priorities, Kant said the country’s G20 presidency will seek to advocate oneness in line with the theme of ‘One Earth One Family One Future’, and reflect not just the aspirations of G20 partners, but also of the “Global South, whose voice is often unheard”.

“The challenges that we face today can be solved only by working together through hope, harmony and healing and our first concern should be towards those whose need is greatest. Therefore, we need to focus on the Global South as well,” he said.

The world is facing a “vast number of challenges”, and the Sherpas will have to “shape an inclusive future”, for which India is ready to share its experiences in key areas such as use of digital tools and financial inclusion initiatives, he said.

“Our prime minister has said that we would like to be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. We will be, but that is not feasible nor possible without all of you. Therefore, we would like the positive and forward-looking support from all of you to make the G20 a very vibrant, very dynamic and a very positive group to drive global growth, global sustainability and digital transformation,” he said.

The Indian side, he said, will emphasise win-win collaboration between developing countries and advanced economies, and the need to build new approaches that benefit the world on key issues.

There will be three more sessions on Tuesday that will focus on accelerated, inclusive and resilient growth, multilateralism and food, fuel and fertilisers, and women-led development, tourism and culture.

An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “These deliberations will set the agenda for India’s G20 presidency. India’s G20 Sherpa will brief his counterparts from the other countries about India’s expectations and get the ball rolling for the hundreds of upcoming meetings.”

Kant will guide deliberations at these sessions, and all the G20 Sherpas and officials from nine guest countries invited by New Delhi will participate in the discussions.

Also Read:India’s G20 presidency: Sherpas meeting begins in Udaipur

The deliberations began as a Group of Seven (G7) price cap on Russian seaborne oil came into force on Monday as part of efforts by Western powers to limit Russia’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

With divisions created by the Ukraine crisis hovering over the G20, the Indian side said it will focus on ensuring inclusive growth during the overarching deliberations on the course to be taken by the grouping in the coming year.

Kant said the G20 Sherpas will focus on resilient global value chains in the field of trade and investment and accelerating progress in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The working group on employment will look at addressing global skill gaps, sustainable financing for social security, and gig and platform economy.

The working group on tourism will look at green tourism and digitisation for transforming tourism, while the working group on agriculture will look at enhancing food security, a climate smart approach, and using tech and digitisation for agriculture.

The working group on digital economy will look at digital public infrastructure, including India’s experience in creating digital identities, opening bank accounts to lift vast segments of the population above the poverty line through direct benefit transfers, and fast payments.

On the health side, the discussions will focus on prevention, health emergencies, digital health for universal access and improved service delivery, and strengthening cooperation for vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

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