The New Delhi leaders’ declaration to be made at the end of G20 Summit on September 10 will be the voice of the Global South and the developing countries, Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa says.
Addressing a pre-summit press briefing by G20 Presidency in New Delhi on September 8, Kant says that “no document in the world would have such a strong voice for the Global South and the developing countries as the New Delhi leaders’ declaration”. “We started our G20 presidency with a meeting of the Global South, we got the perspectives of 125 leaders and then we remained focused on the perspective of the Global South and the requirements of the developing countries,” he adds.
According to the G20 Sherpa, India was clear about its preference towards the Global South after Prime Minister Narendra Modi put forth that the guiding principles of India’s Presidency should be inclusive, ambitious, action oriented and very decisive. “These are the four principles on which we have worked. We have lived up to his vision,” Kant says.
He points out that when India was handed over the G20 Presidency last year, one third of the world was reeling under economic recession and there was a global need to focus on measures that will drive sustainable, strong and inclusive growth.
Similarly, only 12 of the 169 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets are on track and the world is behind the schedule in achieving it. “We are mid way at the 2030 action point and we are way behind. Therefore accelerating SDGs, improving learning outcomes, health outcomes, nutrition, all these were very critical for India’s presidency. We also wanted the world to take the lead on green development in the context of climate action and climate finance. And there were several components of which we wanted to drive. Because both SDGs and climate action require finance, particularly for developing and emerging markets in the global south, it was critical that the focus on the multilateral institutions of the 20th century, how to redefine and reform them. Our view was global south, emerging markets, developing countries, which has been a very important component of India’s G20 Presidency should get long term financing, and must be able to use new instruments for financing to drive both SDG and climate finance,” he explains.
Kant also points out that India’s push to promote technological development and digital public infrastructure is also driven by its focus on the Global South. “Most of the innovations in the world have come from the big tech in the West. India has created a unique model of digital public infrastructure, which is open source, open API, is interoperable and has enabled digital identity for every citizen, has enabled bank accounts for every citizen, has enabled fast payments, enabled everyone to improve health outcomes. Therefore, technology development and how to use public digital infrastructure to drive growth when 4 billion people of the world do not have digital identity, about 3 billion people do not have bank accounts and over 133 countries do not have fast payments became important from India’s priorities perspective,” he says.