Voice of the Global South Summit

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    • The Honorable PM of India recently inaugurated a virtual event, “Voice of the Global South Summit”.

    More about the news

    • About the Summit:
      • About:
        • India hosted the summit in a bid to articulate the views of the developing countries regarding the effects of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
        • The event has planned eight ministerial sessions including finance, energy, education, foreign affairs, and commerce. 
      • Theme:
        • It was held under the theme – ‘Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose’ – essentially envisages bringing together countries of the global south and sharing their perspectives and priorities on a common platform across a whole range of issues.
    • Uniting Global south:
      • Prime Minister through this event has set the stage on behalf of developing countries, many of which are united by a history of colonisation. 
      • Offering to become the voice of the Global South, India during the event gave a new agenda to the world on behalf of the countries of the South: ‘respond, recognise, respect, and reform’.
        • The ‘Global South’ broadly refers to countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
    • Voice of global South in the ongoing Crisis:
      • According to PM, the world is facing a lasting crisis and there is no clarity about how long this “state of instability” will last.
      • The Global South does not have adequate voice in the “eight decades old model of global governance” and that it should shape the “emerging order”.
        • As stated by him, “Most of the global challenges have not been created by the Global South. But they affect us more. We have seen this in the impact of COVID pandemic, climate change, terrorism and even the Ukraine conflict. The search for solutions also does not factor in our role or our voice”.
    • India’s goal:
      • The goal of India in 2023 is to represent the Global South
      • As India begins its G20 Presidency this year, it is natural that our aim is to amplify the voice of the Global South.

    More about the “Global South”

    • Global North  & Global South:
      • Global North refers loosely to countries like the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
      • Global South includes countries in Asia, Africa and South America. 
    • Significance of categorisation:
      • For a long time in the study of international political systems, the method of categorising countries into broad categories for easier analysis has existed. 
        • The concepts of ‘East’ and ‘West’ is one example of this, with the Western countries generally signifying greater levels of economic development and prosperity among their people, and Eastern countries considered as being in the process of that transition.

    Significance of categorization

    • Shared similarities:
      • What sets the terms Global North and South apart are that first, they are arguably more accurate in grouping countries together, measuring similarly in terms of wealth, indicators of education and healthcare, etc. 
      • Another commonality between the South countries is that most have a history of colonisation, largely at the hands of European powers.
    • Present requirements: 
      • Why the concept is being reiterated now is partly because of the economic emergence of some of these South countries, such as India and China, in the last few decades. 
      • Many consider the world to now be multipolar rather than one where the US alone dominates international affairs. 
    • Challenging the ideal:
      • The progress achieved by many Asian countries is also seen as challenging the idea that the North is the ideal.

    Criticisms

    • The term is too broad: 
      • The problem of proper naming is still not resolved.
      • North countries paying for funding green energy, having historically contributed to higher carbon emissions, many in the Global North have objected to China and India’s exclusion from this, given their increasing industrialisation.
    • No different objective:
      • There is also the question of whether the South simply aims to replace the North and the positions it occupies, again continuing a cycle in which a few countries accumulate crucial resources. 
    • Possible neglect of Africa:
      • In the rise of Asia, the continued neglect of Africa has been questioned as well.

    Way ahead

    • In this multipolar world, the whole North and South needs to come together to fight the issues of developed and developing countries and promote the East like the West.
    • Some economists have argued that international free trade and unhindered capital flows across countries could lead to a contraction in the North–South divide. 
      • In this case more equal trade and flow of capital would allow the possibility for developing countries to further develop economically.
    • As some countries in the South experience rapid development, there is evidence that those states are developing high levels of South–South aid.

    Role of United Nations

    • MDGs:
      • The United Nations has also established its role in diminishing the divide between North and South through the Millennium Development Goals, all of which were to be achieved by 2015. 
        • These goals seek to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve global universal education and healthcare, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development.
    • SDGs:
      • MDGs were replaced in 2015 by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called “The 2030 Agenda”.

    Source: TH