Giving yet another push to its role as the President of G20, India Friday announced that it will be holding a special summit of countries comprising the Global South — a congregation of developing nations — in virtual format from January 12 to 13. This was announced by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Friday during a media briefing. The Foreign Secretary added more than 120 countries would be invited to the Global South event.

“Given the ongoing presidency of G20, we will be leveraging our role to channelise the concerns of those countries whose concerns are unheard,” the Foreign Secretary said.

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He added that the main agenda of the summit will focus on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that has given rise to the food and energy crisis for the poorer countries. Apart from that, the summit will also seek to discuss economic woes facing the countries in Global South due to the Covid pandemic.

Apart from the heads of state, there will be separate meetings of foreign ministers, finance ministers and trade ministers.

According to Kwatra, the invitations have been sent out already, without mentioning whether China and Pakistan are on the list.

However, he said, for this special summit both G-20 members and non-G20 members who have an ecosystem of concerns, priorities and interests and the names of all confirmed participants will soon be announced.

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He added that the “large and overwhelming world of developing countries” needs to be “heard” and their “voice needs to be factored in.”

“We are consistent in championing the cause of the developing countries … We will have to see how this shapes up in the future,” Kwatra said adding that it has not been decided if this kind of gathering will continue in the future.

“Issues concerning economic growth and debt situations of all countries will also be discussed,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary added that all the inputs will be collated from the summit and the parallel meetings and will be included in the larger G20 deliberations.

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