New York [US]: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar while speaking on Saturday evening during an event here at ‘South Rising: Partnerships, Institutions and Ideas’, said that economically dominant countries are leveraging production capabilities and those countries who have institutional influence have weaponized these capabilities.
Further, citing the example of the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister also stressed that “it is still a world of double standards.”
“There is a growing sentiment in the world and the Global South in a way embodies it. But there’s also political resistance. Those occupying positions of influence are resisting pressure to change”, said EAM Jaishankar during the event hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, United Nations India and the Reliance Foundation.
“They will mouth the right things, but the reality is still today, it’s a world very much of double standards,” he added.
Speaking about the Global South and India’s G20 Presidency, Jaishankar highlighted how India was ‘the voice of the Global South’ and how it steered the global conversation back to global growth and development issues by getting the G20 to talk about what the world wanted to talk about, the real problem of the G20.
“To get the G20, to talk about what the world wanted to talk about, that was the real problem with the G20. Our Prime Minister put it very well, he said first let’s talk to the people who are not going to be on the table. Let’s find out what they have to say. This is why, we were the voice of the Global South. I think it gave us the basis to say, look we have spoken to 125 countries and this is really what is troubling them and that is why we need to focus on this issue”, said Jaishankar.
“I think there’s clearly a sense of history. There is much of the Global South coming from a world that was colonized. There is a sense of geography. Not all countries in the South are part of the Global South. And, I think there’s also the mindset. So, the Global South is an expression, in a way, of a certain solidarity and generosity and sort of a sharing spirit community. I think if you’re part of the Global South, you know it,” he added.
Talking further, the Minister also said that the Global South ate less wheat and more millets.
“In the name of the market a lot of things are done, like in the name of freedom a lot of things are done,” said EAM Jaishankar.
In his Europe’s mindset comment from last year, where he said that “Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems”, EAM Jaishankar said that “particular statement had a particular context” while also listing five big problems which is troubling the entire world.
“That particular statement had a particular context. If you look at what happened at the G20, part of the challenge in the G20 was actually to get the G20 to focus on, I mean anybody who travels around the world will tell you, list five big problems which are troubling the entire world. People will say debt, SDG resourcing, climate action resourcing, digital access, and I would say it could be nutrition, gender,” said EAM Jaishankar.
“If you look between SDGs redevelopment, woman-led development, the digital public infrastructure, these are actually going to be the issues determined to the global progress of the next decade. Why I said this, I must also recognise, at the G20, that slot of European countries and other G20 nations, you know once you kind of reason with them and focus on them, I think everybody came on board. So, it took a country or a set of countries really to make that effort and bring the global conversation back on track,” he added.
Referring to the full consensus achieved by the New Delhi Declaration, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that many people were surprised when India was able to get everybody together.
“On the G20 Summit, a lot of folks were still surprised that we actually got everybody together. I don’t think they completely expected that. So there will be one set of people who are still wondering how that happened”, said EAM.
“The other part, which I think includes some people with me here now has appreciated that we got the G20 to focus on the Global South and that the job for which the G20 was created, which was global growth and development, we got them to refocus on it and with particular attention to the Global South. We did that partly by organizing a Global South summit in advance,” he added.