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Opening Remarks by EAM, Dr. S. Jaishankar at the Foreign Ministers’ Session- I of the 2nd Voice of Global South Summit (November 17, 2023)

Posted on: November 17, 2023 | Back | Print

Excellencies, Namaskar!

It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all to the Foreign Ministers' Session of the 2nd Voice of Global South Summit.

As we took over the G20 Presidency last year, Prime Minister Modi declared that, I quote: "Our G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow travelers from the Global South, whose voice often goes unheard.”

India has since walked the talk, by hosting the 1st Voice of Global South Summit in January this year. By doing so, we were able to elicit and deliberate on the key concerns and priorities of the Global South. This, in turn, informed our approach to the G20 discussions throughout the year.

All of us are acutely aware of the growing stress on the international economy and global society. Longstanding structural inequities have been seriously aggravated by the devastation of the Covid pandemic. This has been made still worse by the fuel, food and fertilizer crises emanating from the Ukraine conflict and its responses. Resource challenges, financial constraints, disrupted trade and climate events have added to our burdens. As a result, growth prospects are as daunting as the SDG landscape is grim.


It was therefore our foremost responsibility to refocus the G20 on the pressing needs of the Global South. Thanks to the ideas and inputs received from all of you, India’s G20 Presidency did advocate for finding solutions from within the Global South. We are hosting this 2nd Summit of Voice of Global South to report back to all of you, on the key outcomes from the New Delhi G20 Summit.

The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, Excellencies, will be remembered for bringing back the G20 focus on the real and serious concerns of the Global South. Let me highlight some notable features of how this has been done:

  • The Declaration overall is a comprehensive message on promoting strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth.
  • It seeks to accelerate progress on SDGs and has come up with an action plan accordingly.
  • It envisages a green development pact for a sustainable future.
  • It endorses high-level principles on lifestyle for sustainable development, voluntary principles on hydrogen, the Chennai Principles for a Sustainable and Resilient Blue Economy, and the Deccan principles on food security and nutrition, amongst others.
  • The transformative and inclusive role of technology has been highlighted with a stress on Digital Public Infrastructure, or DPIs.
  • The G20 has reaffirmed the fundamental importance of gender equality and committed to halve the digital gender gap by 2030.
  • Recognizing that the post-pandemic world order must necessarily be different from the world before it, the Leaders have also emphasized the need to reinvigorate multilateralism and reform international financial institutions.
  • Managing global debt vulnerabilities and encouraging more credible resourcing of SDG realization and green growth have also been given due importance.

Perhaps, the most satisfying outcome of our G20 Presidency was the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member. By doing so, we have given voice to 1.4 billion people of Africa.

As we look ahead, our vision of everyone’s growth, with everyone’s trust is far from accomplished. While change is the natural order, there continues to be a resistance for a greater role for the Global South in shaping solutions for the key issues of our times.

But together, we need to continue putting greater emphasis on the need to take everyone along, and everyone’s views along, while we deliberate at multilateral and plurilateral forums.

The Voice of Global South Summit, can be greatly impactful, by amplifying our individual voices, and project our shared interests for the emerging world order.

Similarly, institutions such as the International Solar Alliance, the Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and the recently announced One Future Alliance serve to offer solutions from the Global South for the World’s most pressing challenges.


We also need to work towards self-reliance to mitigate our vulnerabilities vis-à-vis economic concentrations. The Covid era is a stark reminder of the perils of dependence for basic necessities on far away geographies. We need to not only democratize and diversify production, but build resilient and reliable supply chains and promote local solutions. Only then can the Global South secure its future.

Where any of us are successful in any domain, Excellencies, we must ensure exchange of best practices and also of scaling up. The Global South is eminently capable of coming up with its own answers once we develop that awareness.

India, for its part, reaffirms its commitment to the Global South through an extensive range of development projects in 78 countries. These projects are demand driven, outcome oriented, transparent and sustainable. I assure you that this will only expand in its scale and scope in the times ahead. We will always welcome your views, suggestions and proposals in this context. As India embraces digital delivery, promotes green growth and ensures affordable health access, it will always have the Global South at the centre of its international partnerships.


I look forward to hearing your ideas to further South-South cooperation, as well as ways in which we can consolidate the gains from the New Delhi G20 for the Global South, and take it forward.

I thank you all.