Modi to G20 foreign ministers: Global governance has failed, Global South needs a voice

Setting a constructive tone for the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted the world’s top economies to rise above differences – a veiled allusion to deepening differences over the Ukraine crisis – and deliver concrete results to address problems of the global South.

“We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can,” said PM Modi in a video message at the beginning of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre.

“The world looks upon the G20 to ease the challenges of growth; development; economic resilience; disaster resilience; financial stability; trans-national crime; corruption; terrorism; and food and energy security,” he said. “In all these areas, the G20 has capacity to build consensus and deliver concrete results,” the prime minister said while alluding to “the crisis in global multilateralism.”

Highlighting the knock-on effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on developing countries, Mr Modi underscored the imperative of the G20 providing a voice to the Global South. “Many developing countries are struggling with unsustainable debt, while trying to ensure food and energy security for their people. They are also the ones most affected by global warming caused by richer countries,” he said.

“This is why India’s G20 Presidency has tried to give a voice to the Global South. No group can claim global leadership without listening to those most affected by its decisions.” “I am sure that today’s meeting will be ambitious, inclusive, action-oriented, and will rise above differences,” said PM Modi.

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar chaired the first meeting of foreign ministers of G20 countries under India’s presidency, which will set the agenda for the G20 summit to be hosted by India in September this year.  The meeting is expected to see renewed efforts to resolve differences over the Ukraine crisis amid widening rift between the US-led West and the Russia-China combine on the Ukraine conflict.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Mr Jaishankar said: “We first came together in the midst of a global crisis and are today, once again, actually confronting multiple ones. These include the impact of the Covid pandemic, concerns of fragile supply chains, the knock-on effects of ongoing conflicts, anxiety of debt crises and the disruption of climate events.” “In considering these issues, we may not all always be of one mind. In fact, there are some matters of sharp differences of opinions and views. Yet, we must find common ground and provide direction, because that is what the world expects of us.”

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Manish Chand
Manish Chand
Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network ( and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.