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Deciphering the Global South Summit: India becoming the voice of developing economies across the world

In recent years, India has emerged as an increasingly prominent player in world affairs, particularly in the context of the Global South.

The Voice of the Global South Summit, a unique endeavour started by the Indian government months after it assumed the G20 presidency, was recently held in India. The summit’s goal was to launch a brand new and enthusiastic approach to realpolitik, while also providing a coordinated strategy for emerging economies. Leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guyana, Mozambique, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam attended the conference.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised at the summit’s opening session that developing countries should work together to restructure global political and financial governance so that they are not excluded from advancement, and can eliminate disparities. Notably, PM Modi reaffirmed that during its G20 leadership, India would represent the Global South.

This piece makes an effort to explain the summit’s underlying philosophy and shed light on how India, the oldest of the group but yet the youngest, is holding the torch high and paving the way for other emerging regions throughout the globe.

The North-South divide

The economic, political, and social differences between the developed nations of the Northern Hemisphere and the parts of the developing world of the Southern Hemisphere are known as the global North-South divide. The North is distinguished by sophisticated industrial economies and high standards of living, while the South is distinguished by under-developed economies and poverty. This division is mostly based on the level of economic development.

The history of colonialism, imperialism and uneven economic connections between industrialised and developing nations are the roots of the North-South split. The North used the South’s labour and resources for its own economic advantage throughout the colonial era.

Several crucial measures, including GDP per capita, life expectancy, and access to education and healthcare, illustrate the disparity. The global North-South divide has serious consequences for global development and poverty alleviation. The bulk of the world’s poor live in the South, and reducing this disparity is critical to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

To eliminate poverty and encourage development in the South, the global economic system must evolve toward more justice and fairness. This may be accomplished through a variety of measures, including increasing aid and investment in the South.

Summits and conferences with a focus on the Global South are often held to address the unique challenges these countries face while also fostering cooperation and development. These gatherings often bring together representatives from the government, business, and other sectors to discuss issues including trade, economic development, and poverty reduction.

Why now?

The goal of the present summit, which has the theme “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose,” is to bring together nations from the global south to discuss a wide variety of topics from their points of view and objectives. The summit’s timing reveals a lot about the purpose of the alliance.

The need for a new international order that is more inclusive, representational, and fundamentally more stable has been supported by the Covid 19 epidemic, increasing Chinese expectations, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and various other events. The Global South Summit aims to give voice to that endeavour and help in making the transformations manifest.

India in a leadership role

In recent years, India has emerged as an increasingly prominent player in world affairs, particularly in the context of the Global South. India has taken the lead in promoting South-South cooperation and has participated actively in regional and international forums to discuss topics of shared concern.

In areas like trade, climate change, and nuclear non-proliferation, India’s leadership has been essential in promoting developing nations’ interests and concerns on the international stage. Furthermore, India has increased its participation in regional organisations like the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and international organisations like the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.

Also, the complaints and criticisms that India has the intent to replace the North with the South alliance are ill-founded. Indian stand has been very clear from the beginning itself. India has never aspired to dominate any system or hold an advantageous position. The stand has always been that India should be well-placed in the decision-making structure of global politics and sovereign enough to decide on its internal matters.

Notably, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has been able to achieve well on all fronts and continues to proceed with vigour and grit. The Indian economy is also well poised to handle the changing rules of realpolitik and contingencies.

India under Modi

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has risen to prominence on the international stage through a mix of economic development, diplomatic endeavours, and strong leadership. India’s economy has expanded to become one of the largest in the world, and the country has achieved great advances in fields such as technology and space exploration.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi has maintained an active foreign policy, establishing strong partnerships with other nations and playing an important role in regional and global events. Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi’s leadership style, which stresses bold and immediate action, has contributed to India’s improved worldwide reputation.

PM Modi is to be thanked for making Indians and the world realise that India cannot always be kept in the ‘developing countries’ category. Rather, the new India is sovereign, decisive, self-sufficient or to say Aatmanirbhar in totality.

India really means what PM Modi said in the Opening Remarks at the Concluding Leaders’ Session of the Voice of Global South Summit:

संगच्छध्वं संवदध्वं सं वो मनांसि जानताम्

The prayer from the Rigveda says, “Let us come together, speak together, and may our minds be in harmony.”

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Aristotelian and Platonic simultaneously.

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