NEW DELHI : India hosted a two-day Voice of Global South Summit virtually on 12-13 January 2023. With 10 sessions in total, the Summit saw the participation of Leaders and Ministers from 125 countries of the Global South including Sri Lanka.
Under the theme “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose”, this one of a kind Summit focused on priorities, perspectives and concerns of the developing world. The Summit was particularly relevant as the world passes through a difficult period marked by challenges to health, food security, affordable access to energy, climate finance and technologies, and economic growth.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the Inaugural Leaders’ session on 12 January 2023. This was followed by eight Ministerial-level thematic segments dedicated to addressing the most pressing concerns of the developing world. The Summit wrapped up on 13 January 2023 with a Concluding Leaders’ Session also hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the Concluding Leaders’ session. In his remarks, the President of Sri Lanka focused on economic issues of the developing world. He said that India was in the best position to act as a bridge between the developing countries which are facing a debt crisis and the G20.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a number of new initiatives at the Concluding Leaders’ session such as:
· Aarogya Maitri
· Global South Centre of Excellence
· Global South Science and Technology Initiative
· Global South Young Diplomats Forum
· Global South Scholarships
State Minister of Finance Hon’ble Shehan Semasinghe attended the Finance Ministers’ session on 12 January 2023. In this session, Ministers exchanged views on financing the development needs of the Global South, achieving financial inclusion, implementation of digital public goods in the financial sector, and development partnerships that are outcome-oriented and financially sustainable.
Participating countries recognized with appreciation that the Summit produced fruitful conversations and charted a new path through an action-oriented agenda that strives to address their priorities and challenges. They underscored the agenda and quest for solutions to global challenges must include the voices of its biggest stakeholders, the Global South.