Foreign Policy Watch: India-Africa

India to host second Voice of Global South Summit


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Voice of Global South Summit

Mains level : NA

global south

Central Idea

  • Prime Minister will inaugurate the second Voice of Global South Summit. This will be the second Voice of Global South Summit in less than a year hosted by India.

What is the Voice of Global South Summit?

  • The VoGS Summit is a Indian initiative that has been designed to provide a common platform for the countries of the Global South to share their perspectives and priorities on several major issues.
  • It aims to find out solutions for common challenges faced by developing countries through talks.
  • Inspired by PM’s vision, ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas’, the summit follows India’s philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

How did the summit start?

  • The foundation of this unique initiative was laid considering the recent global developments that have severely impacted the developing world.
  • These include events such as Covid pandemic, mounting debt, ongoing Ukraine conflict, and challenges of food, energy security and others.
  • Often, the worries of developing countries do not gain adequate attention and space on the global stage.
  • The relevant existing platforms have proven to be deficient in handling the challenges and concerns of the developing nations.

About Global South

  • Global South refers to countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, while Global North includes countries like the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • It’s a term used to categorize countries based on economic development and historical factors.

Features of Global South

  • Mostly lower-income countries, often with colonial histories.
  • Not strictly limited to the Southern Hemisphere; many are in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Used as a value-free alternative to “Third World.”
  • Major countries like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Mexico are part of the Global South.

Need for Classification

  • Helps describe economic and geopolitical differences.
  • Overcomes the limitations of East/West or First/Second/Third World classifications.
  • Recognizes the shared history of colonization.
  • Acknowledges the emergence of economically powerful South countries.

Indian Context

  • India aims to represent the underrepresented Global South in international forums.
  • Calls for reform in multilateral institutions like the UNSC, UN, and IMF.
  • Emergent economies like India and China seek cooperation with other Global South countries.
  • Challenges the dominance of the Global North in international affairs.

Criticism of Classification

  • Some find the term too broad and vague.
  • Questions about whether elites of the Global South aim to challenge global capitalist structures.
  • Concerns about the neglect of Africa in the rise of Asia.

Significance of Global South

  • India aims to unite Global South nations to address common concerns.
  • Potential for technical and idea exchanges and cooperation in various areas.
  • Highlighting shared concerns like energy security and sustainable development.

Challenges for Consolidation

  • Debate over climate reparations and exclusion of India and China.
  • Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War on Least Developed Countries.
  • China’s increasing influence in the Global South through initiatives like the Belt and Road.

Way Forward

  • India needs active engagement in regional politics within the Global South.
  • Recognize differentiation within the Global South in terms of wealth, needs, and capabilities.

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