India is hosting a special virtual summit of over 120 non-G20 member countries on Jan 12th and 13th. At a briefing on Friday evening, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said the summit titled Voice of Global South, will bring together developing countries on one platform to share their concerns and priorities that could get reflected during India’s G20 presidency.
Underscoring that the idea for the summit was driven by Prime Minister Modi’s idea of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’, Kwatra said that “The theme of the summit is Unity of Purpose and it underscores the point that India has always championed the cause of the developing world at all international fora.”
He also pointed to “recent global developments that have impacted the developing world across domains including the Covid pandemic.”
He said the Impact of the conflict in Ukraine is increasing difficulty of access and affordability of food fertilizer and fuel. Also, the impact of climate change especially in terms of access to finance and technology; the increasing burden of debt and inflation pressures that are taking a toll on developing economies.
“But these concerns do not receive due attention and existing platforms have proved inadequate. So a consultative conversation focused on their most pressing concerns and priorities of developing countries is the need of the hour,“ Kwatra said.
The summit will exchange ideas and solutions and voice unity and purpose in addressing the above concerns. India will work to ensure that inputs generated by these countries receive due cognisance globally.
“Our presidency of G20 provides an opportunity to channelise these inputs into the deliberations and discourse of the G20,” Kwatra said. “Those countries that are not part of the G20 process can share their ideas and expectations through this summit.”
The summit will have 10 sessions over the two days with two sessions at the level of heads of state. Prime Minister Modi will host the two leader sessions and the other eight sessions will be led by various ministers from among those invited. Each session will have a set of 10 countries taking part.
The inaugural leader’s session will in the forenoon of Jan 12th and the theme will be Voice of Global South for Human Centric Development. The finance minister’s session will focus on financing people centric development given that key elements of development has to focus on people. The environment minister’s session will focus on balancing growth with environment-friendly lifestyles. The foreign minister’s session will be on priorities of the global south ensuring a conducive environment.
The health ministers session will focus on cooperation to build resilient health care systems and education ministers will focus on capacity building in the global south. The session on commerce and trade will focus on developing synergies in the global south, trade, technology, tourism and resources.
“The concluding session chaired by Modi, will release our summary of the priorities and perspectives and ideas that the leaders will share,” Kwatra said.