Throughout its tenure as the G20 president, India has steadfastly embodied its vision of championing the cause of the Global South, an aspiration enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last December.
The term “Global South” encompasses developing nations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, juxtaposed against the economically advanced Global North, comprising countries like the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.
India’s commitment to this vision has been manifest through its tireless efforts to spotlight the concerns of Global South nations on the international stage, notably within the United Nations forums.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar emphasized India’s resolute commitment to the Global South by recounting its proactive role during the COVID-19 pandemic. India, the “Pharmacy of the World,” dispatched Made-in-India vaccines to approximately 100 nations and supplied medicines to around 150 countries, unequivocally demonstrating its dedication to advancing the interests of the Global South.
From the outset of its G20 presidency, India convened the Voice of Global South Summit, a virtual gathering attended by representatives from 125 nations in January. This initiative underscored India’s unwavering focus on the region’s concerns, a commitment reaffirmed when the Global South remained at the heart of discussions during the G7 Summit in Hiroshima later that year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the Inaugural Leaders’ session on January 12, followed by eight Ministerial-level thematic segments addressing pressing concerns of the developing world. The Summit concluded on January 13 with a Concluding Leaders’ Session hosted by Prime Minister Modi.
The participating leaders lauded India’s leadership in hosting the Summit and expressed optimism that it would catalyze a prosperous and inclusive future for the world, with due consideration for the Global South’s needs.
India’s advocacy for the Global South found further expression in its successful bid to include the African Union as a full member of the G20, a landmark achievement signaling the nation’s dedication to empowering developing regions.
At the 15th BRICS Summit in South Africa, Prime Minister Modi underscored the significance of the Global South beyond mere diplomatic terminology. He emphasized that the Global South represented a shared history of countries united against colonialism and apartheid, serving as the bedrock upon which modern international relations were being reshaped.
In June, India organized a two-day event on International Taxation in collaboration with the Geneva-based South Centre, a policy research think-tank comprising 55 developing countries. This initiative aimed to enhance capacity building for Indian tax officials, focusing on International Taxation from a Global South perspective.
India’s G20 presidency has thus far underscored its unwavering commitment to being the steadfast voice of the Global South, amplifying the concerns and aspirations of developing nations on the world stage.