ANI Photo | B20 Summit: Global South under ‘exceptional stress’; re-globalisation needed, says Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday underscored the uneven representation of the Global South on the international platform, and pressed for re-globalisation to ensure a more diversified and democratic system with reliable supply chains.
Speaking at the B20 summit, the minister asserted that businesses can make a real difference as the world now needs multiple centres of production.
Jaishankar was addressing a session on the role of Global South in Emerging World 2.0 during the Business 20 summit here.
The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community. The theme for the summit this year is ‘R.A.I.S.E: Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable, Equitable Businesses’. The three-day event concluded on Sunday.
During his address, he emphasised how the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict accentuated the need to focus on developing countries.
“It is an undeniable reality that the international system remains dominated by the Global North. It is naturally reflected in the composition of G20. We saw the pandemic take a horrific toll across the world, and the need to focus on developing countries became more compelling. If that was not enough the consequences of Ukraine’s conflict on global food, fuels and fertilizer security added to complexity,” he said.
The minister voiced that trade disruptions, high-interest rate and the increasing climate crisis has contributed to additional factor of stress.
“The current focus on the global south animated by the conviction that these are the countries that are truly deserving of special care but these are also societies under exceptional stress, which if left unaddressed would become a serious drag on the world economy,” he added.
Remarking that “globalisation cuts both ways”, Jaishankar informed how mainly the focus has been on the positive aspects of globalisation but its negative facets have an effect also.
“The discourse has largely been focused on its (globalisation) positive facets but do consider what the implications are for all of us– North or South– of a slowdown in nutrition, health, education, employment or even in security. And indeed when promises of digitisation and technology fall short,” he said.
“The endeavour is now to seek re-globalisation that is more diversified, that is more democratic where there would be multiple centres of production not just of consumptions and that is where business can make a crucial difference. We cannot be at the mercy of any of a few suppliers whose viability came into question by unanticipated shocks, he added.
He also spoke about how India has been working to advance the cause of the Global South. India organised the Voice of the Global South Summit in January 2023.
Jaishankar said when India assumed the G20 Presidency in December 2022, New Delhi was acutely conscious that the majority of the Global South would not be at the table when the meeting took place, but “they mattered very much as they are one who faced the problems”.
Jaishankar said, “So how has India walked the talk when it comes to Global South… Stress situations normally provide a good indicator of intent and behaviour. During the Covid (pandemic), Made-in-India vaccines were sent to about 100 countries. And about 150 nations imported medicines during this period from the Pharmacy of the World’.”
The minister also listed the steps taken by India in the past years to support other nations in distress.
He recalled how India emerged as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’ during the Covid-19 pandemic, through the export of ‘Made in India’ vaccines to over 100 countries,
On India stepping forward as the first responder in crisis situations beyond its borders, the EAM said, “We have also stepped forward as the first responder in disaster, emergency, and conflict situations ranging from Fiji and Myanmar to Mozambique, Yemen and Turkey.”
The EAM added that India’s ‘development partnerships’ have grown significantly over the last decade, and now extend to 78 nations across geographies. He added that 600 projects delivered or under execution are a testimony of New Delhi’s goodwill as much as of its capabilities.
“Believing that capacity building is central to global development, we have provided training to 200,000 nationals of more than 60 countries. And our approach is guided by the ‘Kampala’ principle, enunciated by Prime Minister Modi in 2018, which in essence said that the priority of our partners will be a determining criterion,” he added.
To discuss concerns of the Global South without providing them with a fair hearing appeared extremely unfair, he added.
“India, itself so much a part of Global South would not stand by and let that happen. Therefore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to convene the Voice of the Global South Summit in January this year. We heard about their challenges and priorities and on their behalf, these have been made central to the G20 agenda and different aspects of these fundamental challenges have been discussed,” Jaishankar said.
Elucidating how the Global South was reduced to being a consumer rather than a producer over the years, the minister said that their contribution very often was to provide resources, for manufacturing elsewhere.
“They not only did not reap the full benefits of economic change but often ended by being saddled with unviable debts emanating from opaque initiatives,” he added.
Jaishankar believes that the G20’s core mandate to promote economic growth and development, cannot be advanced unless concerns of the Global South are addressed.
“Emerging World 2.0 is one with more engines of growth, a fairer distribution of the benefits of globalization, and greater resources devoted to attaining sustainable development goals and promoting climate action,” he asserted

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