Leaders of the global South,
It is my pleasure to welcome you in this Summit. I thank you for joining us from different parts of the world. We are meeting as a new year dawns, and brings new hopes and new energy. On behalf of 1.3 billion Indians, I extend my greetings for a happy and fulfilling 2023 to all of you and your countries.
We have turned the page on another difficult year, that saw:
● War, conflict, terrorism and geo-political tensions;
● Rising food, fertilizer and fuel prices;
● Climate-Change driven natural disasters, and;
● Lasting economic impact of the COVID pandemic.
It is clear the world is in a state of crisis. It is difficult to predict how long this state of instability will last.
We, the Global South, have the largest stakes in the future. Three fourths of humanity lives in our countries. We should also have equivalent voice. Hence, as the eight-decade old model of global governance slowly changes, we should try to shape the emerging order.
Most of the global challenges have not been created by the Global South. But they affect us more. We have seen this in the impacts of COVID pandemic, climate change, terrorism and even the Ukraine conflict. The search for solutions also does not factor in our role or our voice.
India has always shared its developmental experience with our brothers of the Global South. Our development partnerships cover all geographies and diverse sectors. We supplied medicines and vaccines to over 100 countries during the pandemic. India has always stood for a greater role for developing countries in determining our common future.
As India begins its G20 Presidency this year, it is natural that our aim is to amplify the Voice of the Global South. For our G-20 Presidency, we have picked the theme of – "One Earth, One Family, One Future”. This is in line with our civilizational ethos. We believe the path to realize ‘oneness’ is through human-centric development. People of Global South should no longer be excluded from the fruits of development. Together we must attempt to redesign global political and financial governance. This can remove inequalities, enlarge opportunities, support growth and spread progress and prosperity.
To re-energise the world, we should together call for a global agenda of ‘Respond, Recognize, Respect and Reform’:
● Respond to the priorities of the Global South by framing an inclusive and balanced international agenda.
● Recognize that the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ applies to all global challenges.
● Respect sovereignty of all nations, rule of law and peaceful resolution of differences and disputes; and
● Reform international institutions, including the United Nations, to make them more relevant.
Despite the challenges the developing world faces, I remain optimistic that our time is coming. The need of the hour is to identify simple, scalable and sustainable solutions that can transform our societies and economies. With such an approach, we shall overcome the difficult challenges - whether it is poverty, universal healthcare or building human capacities. In the last Century, we supported each other in our fight against foreign rule. We can do it again in this Century, to create a new World Order that will ensure the welfare of our citizens. As far as India is concerned, your Voice is India’s Voice. Your Priorities are India’s Priorities. Over the next two days, this Voice of Global South Summit will have discussions on 8 priority areas. I am confident that together the Global South can produce new and creative ideas. These ideas can form the basis of our Voice in the G-20 and other forums.
In India, we have a prayer - आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः. It means, may noble thoughts come to us from all directions of the universe. This Voice of Global South Summit is a collective effort for gaining noble ideas for our collective future.
I look forward to listening to your ideas and thoughts. I once again thank you for your participation.
Thank you. Dhanyavaad.