India to position itself as the ‘Voice of Global South’ at G20 Summit

The New Delhi G20 summit, scheduled to be held between September 9 and 10, is just round the corner and is being highlighted as one of the key achievements of the government in positioning India as the voice of the Global South. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Animesh Singh

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) The New Delhi G20 summit, scheduled to be held between September 9 and 10, is just round the corner and is being highlighted as one of the key achievements of the government in positioning India as the voice of the Global South.

After two days of intense deliberations, the G20 Summit will culminate with a New Delhi Declaration, which is expected to outline the main agenda items namely climate change and climate finance, the role of multilateral development banks (MDBs) in poverty alleviation, advancement on sustainable development goals, technological transformation and digital public infrastructure and most significantly the socio-economic consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

India has positioned itself as the voice of the Global South — a reference to the developing or least developed nations — and it has used the platform of G20 presidency to champion the cause of such nations.

During the Voice of Global South summit, which took place in January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the “world is in a state of crisis” and told the leaders of developing countries “your voice is India’s voice” and “your priorities are India’s priorities”.

“India has always shared its developmental experience with our brothers of the Global South. As India begins its G20 Presidency this year, it is natural that our aim is to amplify the Voice of the Global South,” he had added.

With the theme for India’s G20 presidency being ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, or ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, a phrase, which originates from the ancient Sanskrit text Hitopadesha, the government has consistently used it to establish its foreign policy.

India aims to make maximum use of the diplomatic opportunity which it has got as president of the G20 and therefore almost all the countries have confirmed their presence for the forthcoming G20 summit.

The G20 grouping consists of nations which contribute to around 80 per cent of the global GDP and more than 70 per cent of international trade.

The G20 Summit will see the presence of around 25 world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, British PM Rishi Sunak, French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others.

According to sources, except for Russian president Vladimir Putin, almost all G20 leaders have confirmed their presence for the New Delhi G20 summit.

On August 28, Putin in a telephonic conversation with prime minister Narendra Modi, had conveyed his inability to attend the G20 summit in New Delhi and informed that Russia would be represented by his foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

US president Joe Biden in fact is arriving on September 7 on a four-day bilateral visit, during which he will also attend the G20 summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s presence in the multilateral event is yet to be confirmed. On August 11, when asked about it, the External Affairs Ministry’s Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that the government has invited all participants and looked forward to their participation.

Mexico’s delegation may also not be led by its President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and its Minister for Economy Raquel Buenrostro Sanchez is likely to represent the country in the summit.

Here is the complete list of G20 member states invited to the summit:

Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese; Argentina President Alberto Fernandez; President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa; President of France Emmanuel Macron; Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida; Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni; US President Joe Biden; President of Indonesia Joko Widodo; Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau; President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva; Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman; Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz; President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak; President of China Xi Jinping; President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol; and President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The multilateral event will also see participation from Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

In addition to this, India has also invited leaders from nine nations who are not a part of the G20 Cohort. These are Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Spain President Pedro Sanchez, President of UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sayyid Asad Bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister of Oman and personal representative of the Head of State Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.

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