External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said it is India’s duty to become the voice of the global South, or the developing world, which is facing several challenges at present and is looking at New Delhi with high hopes.
Earlier in the day, his ministry announced India will host a virtual summit on January 12 and 13 to bring together countries of the global South and share their common concerns, interests, and perspectives relating to various global challenges.
The global South largely refers to developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
“Today, developing countries are worried due to issues like rising prices of oil, food, and fertilizers. They are also concerned about mounting debt and worsening economic conditions. Thus, it is our duty to become the voice of such countries, known as the global South in diplomatic terms,” said Mr Jaishankar while talking about India’s G20 presidency which it assumed early last month.
He was addressing a gathering at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar, created on 600 acres of land on Ahmedabad’s outskirts as part of Pramukh Swami Maharaj centenary celebrations of the BAPS Swaminarayan sect.
The Union minister maintained developing nations have high hopes from the world’s fifth-largest economy.
“In the coming days, we will hold virtual meetings with nearly 100 such nations. These discussions with the developing world will help us in putting forward their concerns before G20. These nations have high hopes from India, as they feel if there is one country which can present their case strongly before the G20, it is India,” said Mr Jaishankar.
The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
It comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US, and the European Union (EU).
Mr Jaishankar pointed out that the world is currently facing three major challenges, namely conflicts, COVID-19, and climate, and the solution lies in peace, progress, and prosperity.
Though many countries developed vaccines against coronavirus, very few thought of giving them to other nations, said the Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat.
The ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw India giving vaccines to nearly 100 countries and medicines to 150 countries, he said.
“From being the pharmacy of the world, we have become the pharmacy for the world. We care about others and never hesitate to extend a helping hand. India is now known as the first respondent. Especially countries of Asia and the Indian Ocean region expect India to help in their difficult times,” said Mr Jaishankar.
He praised BAPS (Bochansanvasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan) volunteers for helping and providing food to Indians at the Ukraine border when New Delhi had launched an operation to evacuate students stranded following the Russian invasion of the European nation in February last year.
The minister recalled how BAPS volunteers helped Indian missions in the United States of America and the United Kingdom for crowd management during PM Modi’s addresses at Madison Square Garden and at Wembley stadium, respectively.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan sect. He was born on December 7, 1921, became chief of the Ahmedabad-headquartered sect in 1950, and died on August 13, 2016
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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