International community urged to address triple challenge of food, fuel, fertilizer shortages

Foreign Ministers in the just held Voice of Global South Summit have urged the international community to address the triple challenge of food, fuel and fertilizer shortages.

They also called for renewed and inclusive multilateralism that reflects contemporary realities.

The need to raise their collective voice against the scourge of terrorism was underlined, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, India.

In the Foreign Ministers’ session, the Ministers expressed concern over the increasing fragmentation of the international landscape, and exchanged perspectives on how to create a conducive environment for the development priorities of the Global South.

India hosted the two-day Summit on January 12-13. The Summit was held in virtual format, with 10 sessions in total.

It saw participation of leaders and ministers from 125 countries of the Global South including Bangladesh.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the inaugural leaders’ session on 12 January.

This was followed by eight Ministerial-level thematic segments dedicated to addressing the most pressing concerns of the developing world.

The Summit wrapped up on 13 January with a Concluding Leaders’ Session also hosted by the Indian Prime Minister.

The Energy Ministers’ session emphasized the criticality of energy security for global growth and human development.

Access to energy amidst increasing instability, ensuring energy affordability through diversification of energy sources, sharing best practices to develop renewables and alternate energy, and harnessing the potential of biofuels were the main themes of interaction.

In the Commerce/Trade Ministers’ session, Ministers shared strategies on improving the business and investment climate in developing countries; upgrading connectivity and commerce; ensuring access to critical technologies and resources; fostering grass-roots innovation and sharing of best practices; and diversification of supply chains.

The Ministers agreed that a sustainable post pandemic recovery would be contingent on simplifying procedures, implementing technology based solutions, investing in infrastructure and ensuring equitable access to global markets.

In the Health Ministers’ session, participants emphasized the need to adopt an inclusive approach to global health security.

Ways and means to develop digital public goods in healthcare, promote traditional medicine, build public capacities and develop regional networks, and knowledge sharing were discussed.

The Ministers were particularly appreciative of India’s Vaccine Maitri initiative during the Covid pandemic, as a substantive reflection of South-South cooperation.

In the Education Ministers’ session, ideas to transform developing countries into knowledge based societies that can create future ready workforces were shared.

The Ministers spoke about the need to share best practices in vocational training, capacity building and use of technology to provide equity and quality in education.

India shared its National Education Policy built on the foundational pillars of access, equity, quality, affordability and accountability.

In the session dedicated to sharing ideas for India’s G20 Presidency, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar shared India’s key priorities for its G20 presidency and also assured that India would work to ensure that the valuable inputs generated from partner countries in the Voice of Global South Summit receive due cognizance globally, including in G20 deliberations.

Participating countries recognized with appreciation that the Summit produced fruitful conversations and charted a new path through an action oriented agenda that strives to address their priorities and challenges. They underscored the agenda and quest for solutions to global challenges must include the voices of its biggest stakeholders, the Global South.

In the Finance Ministers’ session, Ministers exchanged views on financing the development needs of the Global South, achieving financial inclusion, implementation of digital public goods in the financial sector, and development partnerships that are outcome-oriented and financially sustainable.

The Environment Ministers’ session focused attention on balancing growth with sustainability, sharing of best practices in ecological conservation, and the importance of LiFE, or lifestyle for the environment launched by the Prime Minister in October 2022.

Ministers also called for accelerated climate action and delivery of climate finance and loss and damage funding to deal with growing climate impacts, in accordance with the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).

Source: United News of Bangladesh