New Delhi, Nov 17 (PTI) The Global South should work towards self-reliance to mitigate various vulnerabilities as the Covid-era was a stark reminder of the "perils" of dependence for basic necessities on far away geographies, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday.
Though Jaishankar did not make any specific references while making the remarks at the second virtual Voice of Global South summit, the comments are largely seen as a veiled dig at China as he also talked about reliability of supply chains and challenges of economic concentrations.
He also said that there continues to be a "resistance" for a greater role for the Global South in shaping solutions for the key contemporary issues.
"We also need to work towards self-reliance to mitigate our vulnerabilities vis-a-vis economic concentrations. The Covid era is a stark reminder of the perils of dependence for basic necessities on far away geographies," he said.
"We need to not only democratise and diversify production, but build resilient and reliable supply chains and promote local solutions. Only then can the Global South secure its future," he said.
In the last few years, India has been positioning itself as a leading voice flagging concerns, challenges and aspirations of the Global South.
As the G20 president, India has been focusing on issues like inclusive growth, digital innovation, climate resilience, and equitable global health access with an aim to benefit the Global South or the developing countries.
Jaishankar also talked about the growing stress on the global economy and the long-standing structural inequities.
"All of us are acutely aware of the growing stress on the international economy and global society. Longstanding structural inequities have been seriously aggravated by the devastation of the Covid pandemic," he said.
"This has been made still worse by the fuel, food and fertilizer crises emanating from the Ukraine conflict and its responses. Resource challenges, financial constraints, disrupted trade and climate events have added to our burdens," he said.
"As a result, growth prospects are as daunting as the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) landscape is grim," he added.
The external affairs minister also highlighted India's development projects in 78 countries.
"India, for its part, reaffirms its commitment to the Global South through an extensive range of development projects in 78 countries. These projects are demand driven, outcome oriented, transparent and sustainable," Jaishankar said.
"I assure you that this will only expand in its scale and scope in the times ahead," he said.
The external affairs minister said India has "walked the talk" in pushing the priorities of the Global South.
The external affairs minister noted that Prime Minister Modi firmly believes that the success of India's G20 presidency is the success of the Global South.
"As we mark the end of this year, we urge you to keep our collective voices robust as we take our mission forward," he said.
"The endeavours undertaken during India's G20 presidency, under our theme of 'one earth, one family, one future' will not end on November 30," he said.
India's G20 presidency will end by November end.
"With your support it will continue to be heard as we work to realize our vision for a world where truly no one is left behind anywhere in the world," he said.
India hosted the first Voice of Global South Summit in January.
"At the first summit, we heard your concerns about the rising impact of climate change, tightening global markets and an increasingly conditional and narrowing global resource mechanisms.
"As we speak today, conflicts around the world have only further exacerbated humanitarian challenges," Jaishankar said.
He noted that climate change continues to have a disproportionate impact on the least developed countries and small island developing states.
"Prospects for a global economic recovery remain challenging," he said. PTI MPB ZMN