India and the Voice of Developing Countries

India and the Voice of Developing Countries

Al-Ittihad, UAE, January 21

Last week, India hosted the Voice of the Global South Summit, bringing together countries from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. This virtual forum provided developing nations with a platform to express their concerns and make their voices heard in global governance. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the South Center of Excellence, the South Science and Technology Initiative, and the South Scholarships for the benefit of students in developing countries. He also announced the South Forum for Young Diplomats to link young officials of the foreign ministries of the participating countries. The summit featured the participation of more than 120 developing countries, which Prime Minister Modi described as the largest virtual gathering of the South ever. The aims of the summit included addressing the issues faced by the developing world, such as COVID-19, rising fuel, fertilizer, and grain prices, and growing geopolitical tensions. India is looking to advance its global agenda and the South Forum aims to help India better articulate the needs and voices of developing countries. India has also positioned itself as a bridge between developed and developing countries, which was evidenced by its neutrality in the Ukraine war and its offer to help end it. The summit highlighted the need for reform in international forums and institutions to ensure a balanced representation of the developing world. India’s role in this comes at a difficult juncture marked by rising tensions due to the Ukraine war and New Delhi’s strained relationship with Beijing over border issues. India seeks to be at the forefront of efforts to find solutions to global problems such as climate change and the energy crisis. The South Initiative is an effort by India to take leadership on global issues and to highlight the views of developing countries on them. India is uniquely placed to play the role of a bridge between the rich industrial countries and the countries of the South. By referring to the fears and concerns expressed by developing countries to the G20, India is trying to provide solutions to global problems while helping its citizens achieve their desired well-being. Overall, the summit was a good step for India toward becoming a voice for developing countries. India is well-placed to play a pivotal role in creating a new world order that is characterized by greater cooperation toward achieving the priorities of the South. –Zikru Al-Rahman (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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