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The New Global Order and India

What makes it news?

  • The Voice of the Global South summit held in Delhi last week did not yield any noteworthy results, as it was not anticipated to.
  • However, India’s participation in the forum represents a significant effort to make global governance work for developing countries, whose concerns typically receive little attention in international fora.


GS Paper-2: Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests; Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests

Mains Question

Discuss the role India can play in creating a new, inclusive, representative, and fundamentally more stable international order. (150 words)

Voice of the Global South Summit

  • The Voice of the Global South Summit, an innovative initiative launched by the Indian government after it took over the G20 presidency, recently took place in India.
    • The forum is also about India reconnecting with a global group of nations that had fallen off the Indian foreign policy radar since the end of the Cold War.
    • The summit’s goal was to launch a brand new and enthusiastic approach to realpolitik, while also providing a coordinated strategy for emerging economies.
  • The conference was attended by leaders from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guyana, Mozambique, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

New programmes were unveiled at the summit

  • The Global South Science and Technology Initiative, which will share knowledge in fields like nuclear energy and space technology, was among the new initiatives announced at the summit.
    • Global South Center of Excellence, which conducts research to create solutions that can be used globally.
    • The Aarogya Maitri project, which aims to provide life-saving medical supplies to any developing nation hit by natural disasters or humanitarian crises.
  • Young diplomats from the Global South are brought together by this forum to “synergize our diplomatic voice.” It will give students from developing countries “Global South Scholarships” so they can attend college in India.

Relevance of the Summit

India stressed that developing nations should cooperate to restructure global political and financial governance so that they are not excluded from advancement and can eliminate disparities. The virtual forum provided valuable inputs from the Global South that could facilitate India’s ambition to steer the G20 summit in Delhi to success later this year.

North-South division

  • The global North-South divide is a system of economic, political, and social divisions between the developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere and the developing regions of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The global North-South divide has detrimental effects on world development and the fight against poverty. Since the majority of the world’s poor reside in the South, closing this gap is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. The global economic system needs to develop toward greater justice and fairness if it is to end poverty and promote development in the South. Several strategies, such as increasing aid and investment to the South, may be used to achieve this.

Why Now Is There a Need for a Global South Leadership?

  • The current summit’s objective is to bring together countries from the global south to discuss a wide range of topics from their points of view and objectives under the theme “Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose.” The timing of the summit reveals a lot about the alliance’s goals.
  • Various occurrences, such as the need for a new international order that is more inclusive, representative, and fundamentally more stable
  • Increasing military tensions between the US, Europe, and Japan on the one side, and Russia and China on the other.
    • The dismantling of international trade regulations and the militarization of global finance
    • The COVID-19 outbreak o Rising Chinese expectations
    • The conflict between Russia and Ukraine o The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, among other things.
  • The goal of the Global South Summit is to give voice to this effort and aid in making the changes visible.

India Reclaiming Leadership of Developing World:

  • For the past three decades, Indian diplomacy has been focused on reorganising its great power relations, establishing stability in the immediate area, and creating regional institutions in the surrounding area.
  • The fact that 120 countries attended the meeting shows how eager the Global South is to support India’s leadership in addressing the global issues that have had a significant impact on the state of many developing nations.
  • The future of this particular forum is unclear, but it appears that the notion that India must once again lead the developing world has gained a lot of traction during the forum.
  • India therefore intends to reorient the G20, take control of the Global South, and act as the global voice for developing economies.

Challenges in Representing Assumed Collective Interests of the Global South:

  • Given the stark economic and political divisions among developing countries, it is harder than ever to represent the presumptive collective interests of the Global South.
  • Despite its impressive total GDP and expanding economic, industrial, and technological capabilities, India still faces significant developmental challenges. This is despite the country’s experience with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group-77 developing countries.

Way forward

  • Given the size of its population, India’s transformation towards greater prosperity and sustainable development would automatically improve the situation of the Global South. However, a large nation and rising power like India can’t simply be self-centred nor should it abandon its long-standing equities in the Global South. India certainly needs to contribute in more significant ways to the modernization and democratisation of the global order.
  • It requires a carefully considered hierarchy of Indian priorities on the international stage, a careful balance between nationalism and internationalism, and a practical understanding of what is possible in today’s world.

March 2024