By Shweta Aggarwal
NEW DELHI: Ahead of the second edition of the virtual Voice of Global South summit, India, South Africa and Cuba have called for more prominence to interests and aspirations of developing countries in multilateral groupings.
Speaking at a conference titled, “G20 Delhi Summit: Inclusive Growth & Rise of the Global South,” in New Delhi, India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant made a strong pitch for accelerating reform of global governance institutions to reflect the interests of developing countries and underlined that India has made the G20 more inclusive during its presidency.
“The Global South is important because this particular year, 80% of the growth is coming from the Global South. According to the IMF and World Bank, 70% of the growth in the next two decades is going to come from emerging markets,” said Mr Kant at the conference titled, “G20 Delhi Summit: Inclusive Growth & Rise of the Global South,” in New Delhi on November 14.
“So, if growth is going to come from emerging markets for the next two decades, then you need to realign the multilateral financial institutions and the multilateral development banks to ensure that this growth gets accelerated,” he said. Mr Kant argued that these institutions are outdated as they were designed in the post-World War II era and the post-Bretton Woods period, and were not designed to tackle contemporary challenges such as climate action and Sustainable Development Goals.
“India put the Global South agenda through the voice of Global South conference in New Delhi. India can’t be a broker between the East and the West. Rather India must take the leadership of the Global South,” said Kanwal Sibal, Chancellor, JNU and a former foreign secretary.
The panel discussion was organised by India Writes Network Centre, Centre for Global India Insights (CGII), a think tank focused on global affairs, and the School of International Relations, JNU.
The panel discussion was moderated by Manish Chand, Founder and CEO, Centre for Global India Insights and India Writes Network. “It’s time for the Global South to claim its place under the sun. India’s time and that of the Global South has come,” said Mr Chand. “The rise of the Global South is a cause for celebration, but the world needs to take concrete action to advance the interests of the Global South in multilateral groupings such as G20,” said Mr Chand.
Besides Kant, eminent personalities who spoke at the conference included Amb. Kanwal Sibal, Chancellor, JNU; South Africa’s High Commissioner to India Joel Sibusiso Ndebele; Cuba’s Ambassador to India Alejandro Simancas Marin, Cuba’s Ambassador to India; and Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, Dean, SIS, JNU.
India will host the 2nd Voice of Global South Summit on November 17 in a virtual format. The second summit will focus on sharing with countries of the Global South the key outcomes achieved in various G20 meetings over the course of India’s Presidency. The special summit edition of India and the World, focused on India’s G20 presidency, was unveiled by eminent speakers at this conference.
It’s time for Africa
Elaborating the need for fast-tracking reform of global financial architecture, Mr Kant asserted that multilateral financial institutions, including the IMF, are heavily tilted in favour of the developed world. “Inflation in America leads to a rise in interest rates and this leads to resources flowing from the developing world to the developed world rather than resources flowing from the developed world to the developing world. “If you look at the last two years, resources have flowed from India to the developed world and not vice versa. That is the flaw of the international financial architecture,” he said.
“One of the lasting images that will carry on forever in my mind of India’s G20 presidency is the image of the prime minister hugging the president of Comoros and welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20,” Mr Kant said. “With that one stroke, India ensured that the G20 became a far more inclusive institution,” he said.
At the conference, Mr Kant also highlighted that India has played a pivotal role in enhancing the inclusivity of the G20 by ensuring the African Union’s induction as a permanent member during its presidency. Kant vividly described the G20 New Delhi leaders’ declaration as a very hard-fought victory for the Global South as it reflected the aspirations of the developing countries.
South Africa’s High Commissioner to India Joel Sibusiso Ndebele lauded India for placing the interests of Africa and developing countries on the global agenda, saying that Pretoria’s presidency of G20 in 2025 will further advance interests of the South. “The inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 under India’s G20 presidency has added a further 1.3 billion people and the GDP of $3 trillion to the G20,” said the South African envoy.
“We are fully convinced that the participation of the AU will strengthen global economic governance and allow African countries to own and influence decisions on key issues,” said the South African envoy. “This will further add weight to the course by developing countries in the G20 for the reform of global financial institutions and institutions of global governance.”
In a similar vein, Cuba’s Ambassador to India Alejandro Simancas Marin praised India for defending the interests of the Global South in multilateral fora. ” The global South, the rise of the people of the South has been a fundamental principle of Cuba’s foreign policy. We recognize the capacity of India to understand and project the aspirations and the dreams of the people of the South in G20,” said the Cuban ambassador.
Cuba is the current chair of the G77, a bloc of countries from the Global South representing 80% of the world’s population.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. Centre for Global India Insights is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs.
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