India to focus on bolstering South-South cooperation

The growing South-South cooperation and the changing paradigm of development cooperation, in which India is playing a leading role, will be in focus at a major global conference in New Delhi, starting March 10.

Ever since independence, India has been advocating enhancing cooperation among the developing countries or the global south.  India has been a prominent voice among the developing countries to fashion a new architecture of global development cooperation.  RIS, a New Delhi-based think tank, will be hosting a two day conference (March 10-11) on South-South Cooperation, where eminent experts and scholars will hold discussions on the way forward for the global south. The conference is supported by India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Ahead of the conference, Shyam Saran, chairman, RIS and India’s former foreign secretary, underlined the growing importance of the South-South development cooperation,  in view of shrinkage of resources in the developed North and the emergence of South as a new centre of economic gravity. He stressed on the need to forge a new international consensus on developmental cooperation. 

The conference will also highlight India’s narrative on development agenda and the nature, scope and modalities of South-South Cooperation. India’s vision of ‘one world’, reflecting the principle of internationalism and hope for a world free from various ills has been a key component of India’s Foreign Policy. 

The shifting of the global center of gravity from North to South is increasingly evident especially in the areas which are significant for further economic development in the South though there are several contemporary challenges, says a concept note authored by RIS.  The areas of development include financing and partnership, peace and security, environment, people centered development, and science, technology and innovation (STI), RIS said.

In global trade, the share of the Southern countries stood at 25 percent as of 2014-15. One of the recent milestones accomplished in South-South cooperation was the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN in September 2015. With its growing economy, India seeks to play  a larger role in global trade  and bolster south-south cooperation. The south-south platform would be ideal for India to focus on issues such as innovation, capacity building, technological development and global financial governance.  

India has traditionally focused on capacity building initiatives to play a bigger role in the global south. India could also be the key driver in increasing the global share of the global south in international trade.

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