India highlights Global South’s concerns at BRICS Summit

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asserted that the BRICS gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, is rebalancing, and that old ways cannot address new situations, reports Ateet Sharma

Delivering on its promise of voicing the concerns of the developing countries in international forums, India has urged fellow BRICS nations, including Russia, China and South Africa, to approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively.

Friends of BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting.

Amplifying the voice of the Global South at Thursday’s BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Cape Town, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asserted that the gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, is rebalancing, and that old ways cannot address new situations.

“This responsibility is even greater as we contemplate the devastating after effects of the Covid pandemic, the stresses arising from conflict, and the economic distress of the Global South. They underline the deep shortcomings of the current international architecture which does not reflect today’s politics, economics, demographics or indeed aspirations,” said Jaishankar.

India has been hailed as a leader among developing countries, a strong development partner and a major proponent of South-South cooperation by several nations from the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific Ocean.

Last month, during the third Forum for India–Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit held at Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, the Pacific island countries promised to rally behind India’s leadership at various global forums saying that they are “victims of global powerplay” and see India as their flag bearer on the global stage.

“You are the voice that can offer our issues at the highest as advanced economies discuss matters relating to economy, commerce, trade and geopolitics. We want you to be an advocate for us. As you sit in those meetings and continue to fight for the rights of small emerging nations and emerging economies,” said PNG Prime Minister James Marape as PM Narendra Modi listened intently.

In Cape Town on Thursday, Jaishankar once again took forward the message from developing countries, saying that the recent experiences impacting health, energy and food security have exposed the fragility because economic concentration that leaves too many nations at the mercy of too few remains at the heart of all problems.

“India undertook the Voice of the Global South exercise to place these issues before the G20. We urge that BRICS give it particular consideration and promote the economic decentralization that is so essential to political democratization,” he said in his opening remarks at the meeting.

New Delhi has long been spotlighting the pressing need for reforms in the global governance multilateral architecture, including the long-standing reforms of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“For two decades, we have heard calls for reform of multilateral institutions, only to be continuously disappointed. It is therefore, imperative that BRICS Members demonstrate sincerity in regard to reforming global decision making, including that of the UN Security Council,” remarked Jaishankar.

The Joint Statement issued after the meeting reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges.

India’s efforts to drive South-South cooperation and build a truly multipolar world order which is more responsive to the aspirations of developing countries will only increase in the coming weeks as it hosts the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in September.

At the very beginning of its ongoing G20 Presidency, PM Modi made it clear that it will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented with a focus on collective action and keeping up with its Presidency motto of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the theme ‘One Earth. One Family. One Future’.

(India Narrative)


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