G7 Summit: India takes voice of Global South to Italy

'The countries of Global South are bearing the brunt of global uncertainties': Modi

Modi at G7 Summit Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy | AFP

It may well be India's 11th participation in G7 Summit and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's fifth consecutive participation at the G7 Summit, but it had a special significance — it is Modi’s first overseas trip after assuming office in his third consecutive term.

Fresh from a successful conclusion of the Indian parliamentary election, the ‘world’s biggest festival of democracy’ and the ‘biggest in the history of humanity’ till date — Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the concerns of the Global South in his speech at the Outreach session.

Modi said, “The countries of the Global South are bearing the brunt of global uncertainties and tensions. India has considered it its responsibility to place the priorities and concerns of the countries of the Global South on the world stage.”

“We have given high priority to Africa in these efforts. We are proud that the G-20, under India's chairmanship, made the African Union a permanent member,” he added.

The PM also held out on the need for technology to be equitable. “We have to collectively ensure that the benefits of technology reach all sections of society, to realize the potential of every person in the society, to help in removing social inequalities, and expand human powers instead of limiting them… We have to convert monopoly in technology into mass usage. We have to make technology creative, not destructive,” Modi said.

On the sidelines, there were several bilateral meetings with world leaders that would further India’s standing in the global arena.

In his bilateral meeting with Europe’s military powerhouse France, Modi and French president Emmanuel Macron agreed to further intensify strategic defence cooperation with increased focus on ‘Make in India’. The other aspect of the talks included nuclear, space, education, climate action, digital public infrastructure, connectivity and cultural initiatives.

Defence and security, trade and economic collaboration, critical and high technology sectors were the key areas of focus in Modi’s talk with UK PM Rishi Sunak.

In his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Modi underlined that “India continues to encourage peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy, and reiterated that India would continue to do everything within its means to support a peaceful solution”.

Significant progress was achieved during the Modi’s talks with Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni where they called for expanding commercial ties in clean energy, manufacturing, Space, S&T, telecom, AI and critical minerals to build resilient supply chains.

In his meeting with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, PM Modi “affirmed that bilateral ties with Japan will continue to receive priority in his third term.”

India is not a member of the G7, the grouping of seven most industrialised nations in the world, but for the world’s most populous nation with more than 17 per cent of the world’s population, its increasing diplomatic, economic, and military heft is making it a nation very hard to ignore in the world’s fast-changing geo-strategic dynamics.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra recently pointed out, “India's regular participation at the G7 Summit clearly points to increasing recognition and contribution of the efforts that India has been consistently making in trying to resolve global challenges, including those of peace, security, development, and environment preservation.”

During its recent presidency of the G20, India not only came out with flying colours in building a global consensus on a number of contentious issues but also in acquiring recognition as a leading voice of the Global South. In the G7 meet in Italy, that was what was highlighted.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp