by Bikashkali Das (Dr Das)
In the realm of international relations, the concept of the Global North and Global South has become increasingly significant. These terms are used to classify countries based on their socioeconomic and political characteristics, highlighting the disparities between developed and developing nations. The Global South primarily encompasses regions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, housing the majority of the world’s population. Often characterized by low incomes, dense populations, inadequate infrastructure, and political or cultural marginalization, these countries face numerous challenges that set them apart from their counterparts in the Global North.
While the terms Global North and Global South may evoke a geographical connotation, they do not solely refer to the directional North-South divide. In fact, several Global South countries are geographically located in the Northern Hemisphere. Instead, these terms serve as a classification based on development levels, with developed countries considered part of the Global North, while developing nations are categorized as part of the Global South.
Recognizing the importance of giving voice to the concerns and aspirations of the Global South, the Voice of Global South Summit aims to foster a sense of unity and purpose among its member countries. This initiative aligns with the vision of India’s Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to shape a positive G20 agenda through consultation with both G20 countries and members of the Global South.
Today, developing countries face a multitude of challenges that cause worry and concern. Rising prices of essential commodities such as oil, food, and fertilizers strain already fragile economies. Mounting debt burdens and worsening economic conditions further exacerbate these issues. In addition, conflicts, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the urgent need to address climate change pose significant threats to the progress and well-being of the Global South.
Addressing these challenges requires a collective effort and cooperation among nations. India, with its vast experience and expertise in dealing with similar issues, has taken on the responsibility of becoming the voice of the Global South. By championing the concerns and interests of developing nations, India seeks to create a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and meaningful action.
During the Voice of Global South Summit, India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar, highlighted the pressing global challenges that demand immediate attention. Conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change are among the most critical issues of our time. Dr Jaishankar emphasized that the solution to these challenges lies in fostering peace, promoting progress, and ensuring prosperity for all.
India’s proactive approach to addressing global issues is exemplified by initiatives such as “Vaccine Maitri.” As the world grapples with the pandemic, India has stepped forward to provide vaccines to nearly 100 countries and essential medicines to 150 countries. This initiative showcases India’s commitment to global solidarity and its dedication to supporting the well-being of the Global South.
The concept of the Global North and Global South has emerged as a vital framework to understand the socioeconomic and political disparities among countries. With the Voice of Global South Summit, India has assumed the responsibility of representing the concerns and aspirations of developing nations. By fostering unity and collaboration, India seeks to shape a positive G20 agenda that addresses the pressing challenges of our time. Through initiatives like “Vaccine Maitri,” India has demonstrated its commitment to global solidarity and the welfare of the Global South. As India continues to emerge as a prominent global player, its duty to be the voice of the Global South becomes ever more crucial.