IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th January, 2023 International Relations

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Context: Underlining that the “world is in a state of crisis”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told leaders of developing countries that “your voice is India’s voice” and “your priorities are India’s priorities”.


  • Addressing leaders at the Voice of Global South Summit, the Prime Minister spelt out the challenges: “We have turned the page on another difficult year that saw war, conflict, terrorism and geopolitical tensions; rising food, fertiliser and fuel prices; climate change-driven natural disasters; and, lasting economic impact of the Covid pandemic.”
  • Making a pitch for the Global South to play a role in shaping the world order, the Prime Minister said, “We, the Global South, have the largest stakes in the future. Three-fourths of humanity lives in our countries. We should also have an equivalent voice. Hence, as the eight-decade-old model of global governance slowly changes, we should try to shape the emerging order.”
  • Leaders of several countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guyana, Mozambique, Mongolia and Senegal were among those who attended the leaders’ session.
  • Stating that most of the global challenges have not been created by the Global South, Modi said, “But they affect us more. We have seen this in the impacts of Covid pandemic, climate change, terrorism and even the Ukraine conflict. The search for solutions also does not factor in our role or our voice.”
  • In this context, he gave the mantra of ‘Respond, Recognize, Respect and Reform’.
  • According to the Prime Minister, the agenda should be:
    • Respond to the priorities of the Global South by framing an inclusive and balanced international agenda.
    • Recognize that the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ applies to all global challenges.
    • Respect sovereignty of all nations, rule of law and peaceful resolution of differences and disputes; and,
    • Reform international institutions, including the United Nations, to make them more relevant.


  • The Global South includes the developing and the less developed countries of the world, and India invited more than 120 countries to the summit.
  • 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’s ongoing Presidency of the G20 provides a special and strong opportunity for countries whose voice often goes unheard.

Global North and Global South:

  • The concept of Global North and Global South (or North–South divide in a global context) is used to describe a grouping of countries along socio-economic and political characteristics.
  • The Global South is a term often used to identify the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is one of a family of terms, including "Third World" and "Periphery", that denote regions outside Europe and North America, mostly (though not all) low-income and often politically or culturally marginalized countries on one side of the so-called divide, the other side being the countries of the Global North (often equated with developed countries).
  • As such, the term does not inherently refer to a geographical south; for example, most of the Global South is geographically within the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The term as used by governmental and developmental organizations was first introduced as a more open and value-free alternative to "Third World" and similarly potentially "valuing" terms like developing countries. Countries of the Global South have been described as newly industrialized or in the process of industrializing, and are frequently current or former subjects of colonialism.