On 12th and 13th January, India has hosted the Voice of Global South Summit. Addressing at the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told leaders of developing countries that “your voice is India’s voice” and “your priorities are India’s priorities”.


What is the Global South?

  • The term ‘Global South’ began by loosely referring to those countries that were left out of the industrialisation era.
  • These countries had a conflict of ideology with the capitalist and communist countries, accentuated by the Cold War. It includes countries that are in Asia, Africa and South America.
  • ‘Global South’ is just the opposite of ‘Global North’, defined essentially by an economic division between the rich and poorer countries.


Evolution of the Global South

  • The idea of a powerful Global North and a resistant Global South was promoted by the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the “African Renaissance,” and the World Social Forum launched in Brazil.
  • Industrial growth in Asia, and the emerging BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) group in world politics, complicated the North-South picture.
  • This also gave rise to South-South cooperation, a collaboration of developing and least-developed countries — as defined by the United Nations on a bilateral, regional, intraregional or interregional basis in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.
  • The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has compelled the developing and lower-income countries, which define the ‘Global South’, to take a firm stand and not be dragged into either of the camps.
  • According to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the ‘Global South’ today is facing critical issues like an unabated rise in the prices of oil, food and fertilisers, coupled with mounting debt and rapidly deteriorating economic growth.


What is ‘Voice of Global South Summit’?

  • Voice of Global South Summit is an initiative by India.
  • It is an effort to give “voice to the unheard”, and thereby leverage India’s role as the current G20 president. The idea behind the summit is that India will work to ensure that inputs generated from partner countries in the Voice of Global South Summit deliberations will be pushed forward at the G20 summit which will be hosted by India later this year.
  • India is hosting the summit under the theme — “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose”.
  • The initiative is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayaas, and is underpinned by India’s philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.
  • On this occasion, a new Aarogya Maitri project has been announced by Prime Minister Modi. Under this project, India will provide essential medical supplies to any developing country affected by natural disasters or humanitarian crises.