India keen to present views of ‘global south’ at G-20: FM Sitharaman


President India is keen to put forward the development issues of the Global South in order to make the world economic order more equitable, including through reforms in multilateral institutions, said on Thursday.

Sitharaman was speaking at the Voice of Global South Summit, a virtual summit spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the aim of presenting at the the issues and challenges of emerging and low-income nations from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Around 120 nations are attending the summit. It is an initiative by India to include the voice of nations who are not part of G-20

“India appreciates the contribution of multilateral institutions and development banks in dealing with global challenges. However, the hardships posed by the pandemic have exposed vulnerabilities at all levels and shown that a major scale-up of response mechanisms is required so that the support provided by these institutions is responsive to country-specific needs,” Sitharaman said.

“We believe strengthening multilateral development banks is a key to addressing the global challenges of the 21st century,” she said, adding that the recent geopolitical tensions and the pandemic have aggravated global debt vulnerabilities.

Sitharaman said India will use the Presidency to encourage collective solutions to deal with the numerous challenges facing the world, like economic slowdown, rising inflation, threat of resurgence of pandemic, and risks emerging from geopolitical conflicts.

“We strongly believe there should not be any first world or a third world, but just one world with a shared understanding for a common future,” Sitharaman said.

India has repeatedly stated that one of its aims as G20 president will be to push for reforms in the likes of International Monetary Fund and World Bank to make them more attuned to the needs of the developing world.

‘Global South’ is a term used to describe emerging and poorer nations in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania, as opposed to the ‘Global North’, which are primarily developed nations from North America and Europe.

Sitharaman said the global debt crisis is one of the biggest challenges that the world faces today, as many low-income countries are stuck between servicing outstanding sovereign debt and providing basic services for their citizens.

As the world rebuilds itself from the pandemic, the Global South needs to exhibit “strong solidarity” to deal with challenges like pandemic, climate change, and geopolitical tensions, which are affecting efforts for development and economic growth.

“If left unaddressed, these mounting debt vulnerabilities can trigger global recession and push millions to extreme poverty. Under India’s G20 presidency, financing for the social dimension of sustainable development is an important priority,” Sitharaman said.

The minister said as the majority of global efforts are focusing on tackling climate issues, it is essential that world leaders take into account the social dimension of development to tackle pressing issues like increasing social inequalities.


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