PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate Voice of Global South Summit tomorrow

Published on Jan 11, 2023 07:27 PM IST

The two-day summit, which has the theme “Unity of voice, unity of purpose”, will bring together developing countries on a common platform

PM Modi will chair two sessions for heads of state and government, one each at the start and conclusion of summit. (Facebook | Narendra Modi)
PM Modi will chair two sessions for heads of state and government, one each at the start and conclusion of summit. (Facebook | Narendra Modi)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the virtual Voice of Global South Summit on Thursday.

The summit will provide a platform to developing countries to present their priorities and challenges related to developmental issues.

The two-day summit, which has the theme “Unity of voice, unity of purpose”, will bring together developing countries on a common platform and feature focused discussions spread across 10 sessions on issues such as foreign policy, finance, energy, trade, health, education and environment.

Modi will chair two sessions for heads of state and government, one each at the start and conclusion of the summit.

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The inaugural session will have the theme “voice of Global South for human-centric development”, and the closing session for leaders has the theme of “Unity of voice, unity of purpose”.

The external affairs ministry said last week that more than 120 countries were being invited to the summit, though there was no clarity on the confirmed participants. It was also unclear whether the Indian side will outline any special initiatives during the summit.

The Indian side is expected to share its experiences in a range of areas related to development, including digital public goods and health, people familiar with the planning for the event said.

The summit will also be an opportunity for the Indian side to hear about challenges and issues being faced by developing countries, the people aware of the matter said.

The outcomes of the summit, which India plans to release in the form of a summary of priorities, perspectives, inputs and ideas from the participating leaders, will be channeled into the country’s G20 presidency.

“We would like to hear from countries that are not members of the G20, to share with us as to what they think in their scheme of things could be included in the discourse within the framework of the G20,” foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra told a media briefing on Thursday.

Eight sessions for ministers will feature representatives of up to 20 countries to enable more focused discussions. The session for energy ministers, for instance, will feature countries that are either energy producers or have large energy needs, and countries will be chosen for each session on the basis of their strength or standing in that particular field, those aware of the developments said.

China and Pakistan are unlikely to be part of the summit, given India’s strained relations with both countries.

New Delhi’s ties with Islamabad are currently at an all-time low because of differences on issues such as terrorism, while India and China have been locked in a military standoff in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control for almost three years.

The summit is also part of India’s effort to strengthen its credentials as a representative of the Global South.

The Prime Minister has said India’s G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with developing countries, and external affairs minister S Jaishankar has repeatedly emphasised the fallout of the Ukraine crisis on the Global South in terms of the increase in food and fuel prices.

Kwatra also said the multilateral or plurilateral mechanisms that are supposed to address and mitigate the concerns and challenges of developing countries outside the G20 are often “found wanting” in terms of their abilities and capacities.

The voice of the Global South, he added, needs to be heard and included in discussions at international forums.

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