Harsh V. Pant: India has played a central role in amplifying the voice of the Global South
Vice President for Studies, Observer Research Foundation, talked about the India’s role in G20 in an exclusive interview to the TV BRICS
In a special media project BRICS & G20. 2023 ahead of the G20 summit, TV BRICS International Media Network and its partners, major national media outlets of the BRICS countries, interviewed leading experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. TV BRICS is an officially accredited media outlet of the G20 summit in New Delhi.
One of the speakers is Professor Harsh V. Pant, who spoke about the India’s role as Chair of the G20 in 2023.
Professor Harsh V. Pant is Vice President for Studies and Foreign Policy at Observer Research Foundation. He is also Director (Honorary) of Delhi School of Transnational Affairs at Delhi University. His current research is focused on Asian security issues.
How do you assess India’s preparations for the G20 summit this year?
This has been a long year for India in preparing for the summit. And I think that has been very striking from India’s perspective, because India managed to do it in its own distinctive way, India involved people into this process, as well as India tried to relate G20 to the wider global concerns that many countries that are not represented as part of the G20 process. So, the ‘Voice of the Global South’ summit that India convened earlier this year was a reflection of India’s priorities and those priorities have been carried through. So, I think it has been a journey for India to take India to the world and bring the world to India through its presidency, and which will culminate in the G20 summit in September.
Can you highlight any significant achievements or positive developments resulting from India’s role in the G20 presidency in 2023?
I think the fact that every country, every major power in the world today is talking about the Global South, is talking about the developing world, perhaps is a tribute to the way India led the G20 through the year. Very focused on the concerns of the Global South, of the developing world, because we are passing through a phase of intense geopolitical contestation among major powers and no one is really talking about the multitude of challenges that the developing world is facing. I mean the food, fuel, fertilizer crisis or the wider economic and debt crises that a large part of the world is going through. So, I think India, by focusing on their concerns, made it very clear to the world that without addressing those challenges, global governance agenda cannot be met. And that is reflected now, indeed, the fact that almost all major powers are talking of the Global South and the developing world agenda is now front and center. So, I think that we were successful in mobilising the G20 process for the wider developing world.
How has the G20 contributed to strengthening the influence of developing nations? And what role has India played in driving this progress during its presidency?
I think India has played a vital role, a central role in amplifying the voice of the developing world, of the Global South, and in making it very clear that the global governance agenda has to center around. A wide failure of the multilateral institutions frameworks perhaps allows for the possibility to imagine G20 as a framework, where some of the most important and significant issues of the day can be deliberated upon. And most of these issues are related to the concerns of the Global South. So, in that way, I think India is not only amplifying the voice of the Global South, but is also about trying to bring countries around the world, major powers around the world together to shape the global governance agenda in a manner that perhaps can respond to the challenges of our times and thereby making G20 very critical anchor in the global governance debate. I think this is a time when the G20 has been resurrected in large part due to India’s leadership.