G20 meeting in Varanasi: Advancing global South agenda

    G20 meeting in Varanasi.
    G20 meeting in Varanasi. (Photo: News Intervention)

    The G20 Development Minister’s Meeting is being held between 11-13 June 2023 in Varanasi, India. The meeting is chaired by Dr. S. Jaishankar, the Union Minister of External Affairs. The gathering brings together approximately 200 G20 delegates from Brazil, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, and China.

    Advocating for the Global South Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the meeting, continuing his advocacy for the Global South. He highlighted the dire need for development in the Global South, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, energy crisis, and geopolitical tensions impacting food and fertilizer supplies.

    PM Modi’s Key Points

    PM Modi stressed the importance of development for the Global South and urged collective responsibility in achieving the sustainable development goals. He emphasized the need for comprehensive, inclusive, fair, and sustainable efforts.

    PM Modi stated, “Development is a core issue for the global south… I strongly believe that it is our collective responsibility not to let the sustainable development goals fall behind. We must ensure that no one is left behind. Our efforts must be comprehensive, inclusive, fair and sustainable.”

    PM Modi highlighted how the Global South has been severely impacted by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also mentioned the additional challenges posed by the food, fuel, and fertilizer crises due to geopolitical tensions.

    External Affairs Minister’s Key Points

    External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar acknowledged the world’s unprecedented challenges, including conflict, the pandemic, climate change, and inflation. He emphasized that the weak and vulnerable bear the brunt of these challenges.

    S. Jaishankar called upon the G20 nations to come together as one family to address the crises. He emphasized the need to break down silos, destroy fragmentation, and ensure a unified international community that speaks up for those in need.

    He added, “Prospects for a global economic recovery remain dim amid supply-chain disruptions, prolonged debt crisis and pressures on energy, food and fertilisers, the world is facing multiple-interlinked crises”.

    Varanasi’s Significance

    PM Modi welcomed the delegates to Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, and highlighted its status as the oldest living city and the mother of democracy. He emphasized Varanasi’s historical importance as a center of knowledge, discussion, debate, culture, and spirituality.

    PM Modi’s Calls for Action

    PM Modi called for reforms in multilateral financial institutions to ensure finance accessibility for those in need. He cited India’s Aspirational Districts program as an example of successful development and urged G20 Development Ministers to study this model.

    PM Modi highlighted the growing data divide and stressed the importance of high-quality data for effective policy-making, resource allocation, and public service delivery. He emphasized the democratization of technology as a crucial tool in bridging this divide.

    PM Modi recalled the launch of Mission LiFE in 2022 and emphasized the significance of adopting a pro-planet lifestyle. He also underscored the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in achieving the SDGs.

    The G20 Development Minister’s Meeting in Varanasi serves as a platform to advance the Global South agenda. Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar highlighted the challenges faced by the Global South and called for collective action, unity, and comprehensive reforms to address the crises and achieve sustainable development goals.

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