Remarks by External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar at the Foreign Ministers’ Session of the Voice of Global South Summit -

26 March,

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Remarks by External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar at the Foreign Ministers’ Session of the Voice of Global South Summit

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Excellencies, Namaskar, and it is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all to the Foreign Ministers’ Session of the Voice of South Summit 2023.

2. The Voice of the Global South Summit is conceived as a platform for developing countries to share their concerns, perspectives, and priorities. It has a particular importance as India takes over the Presidency of the G20. Because we see clearly that the key concerns of the developing world are not being captured in its debates and discussions. Whether it is the impact of the Covid pandemic, climate change, terrorism, ongoing conflicts and debt crises, the search for solutions do not give due weight to the needs and aspirations of the Global South. We therefore wanted to ensure that India’s G-20 Presidency gathers that voice, the perspectives, the priorities of the Global South, and articulates that clearly in its debates.

3. Excellencies, the world is becoming increasingly volatile and uncertain for the South. The Covid period showed us the danger of over-centralized globalization and fragile supply chains. The knock-on effects of the Ukraine conflict were a further stress, especially on food, energy and fertilizer security. Capital flows started constricting even as debts mounted. International financial institutions and multilateral development banks have struggled to assess and address these concerns effectively. Concerns over a Covid resurgence are further dampening sentiment.

4. In the backdrop of unkept promises, developing countries are also expected to bear the burden of developing climate resilience, industrialize without carbonizing, deal with increasing climate events and lift millions out of poverty - all at the same time, while managing disruptions and uncertainties in global supply chains. Those who were promised an interconnected world now actually see a world with higher walls, insensitive to social needs and discriminatory in its health practices.

5. The case for a ‘Global South sensitive’ model of globalization therefore becomes stronger by the day. In this regard, India stands for three fundamental shifts that can create a conducive environment.

6. One, is the model of globalization: from self-centered globalization to human-centered globalization. This means shifting the focus more on development as a whole.

7. Two, a different approach to Innovation & Technology: From being on the receiving end of technological patronage, to deploying Global South-led innovations for societal transformation.

8. And three, on Development Cooperation: From debt creating projects to a demand-driven and sustainable development cooperation.

9. Excellencies, we would also work towards de-centralizing and de-risking globalization. Such a model would offer greater opportunities to many more nations, including to all of you. It would entail a stronger desire to foster localization, improve connectivity, and reconfigure supply chains to ensure economic security.

10. Coming to innovation and technology, I assure you that India stands ready to share its experiences and expertise. In particular, we have deployed game changing digital public goods in universal identification, financial payments, direct benefit transfer, digital health, commerce, industry and logistics. They will be both affordable and accessible to the Global South.

11. We are also keen for an exchange of best practices between our countries. There is plenty that we can all learn from each other. India looks forward to simple, scalable and sustainable solutions from all over the Global South that can ensure the betterment of our people.

12. While offering these thoughts, I would stress that India’s record speaks for itself. We have implemented development projects in 78 countries that are demand-driven, transparent, empowerment oriented, environment friendly and rely on a consultative approach. All the while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

13. Similarly, India has also emerged as an education and healthcare hub for the Global South. Our capacity building programmes and First Responder activities in case of HADR situations are important examples of this approach too. The International Solar Alliance, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and now Mission LiFE, a worldwide programme to promote a climate-friendly lifestyle, these are all proof of the priority that we accord in our diplomacy. And of course, during Covid, we walked the talk of international cooperation by providing vaccines to over a 100 partners and medicines to over 150 countries.

14. Excellencies, in today’s deliberations, I look forward to hearing your ideas and your suggestions. It would be our sincere endeavour to amplify our convergences and speak as one voice on matters that are so critical to the peace and prosperity of our societies.

Once again I thank you most sincerely for joining me this evening .

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