Commentary: G20's imperative to empower Global South

By Xinhua writers Zhao Wencai, Wu Xia (Xinhua) 13:58, September 09, 2023

NEW DELHI, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- As world leaders converge on New Delhi for the upcoming G20 summit this weekend, the global community is once again being presented with a chance to build consensus and join hands in forging a more equal governance system.

Amidst the pressing agenda items at the summit, empowering the Global South, comprised of emerging markets and developing countries, to pursue their development goals should be front and center.

Over the years, the Global South has substantially contributed to global governance and the world economy. However, their development pursuits have yet to receive the adequate attention and support they deserve.

Whether in vaccine distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic or in international resource allocation mechanisms dominated by Western-led institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), developed nations continue to have a stranglehold on the lion's share of resources.

There is an even stronger imperative for global governance mechanisms, including the G20, to emphasize and prioritize the developmental aspirations of nations in the Global South.

Despite the emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, the momentum of the global economic recovery remains fragile, with the IMF recently predicting a lackluster growth rate of only 3 percent this year and the next.

Developing countries face even more severe challenges. Compounded by a more devastating impact inflicted by the pandemic, their voices often go ignored; their interests are frequently marginalized; and the developmental chasm between the Global South and developed countries continues to widen, impeding global efforts towards a sustainable future.

As a pivotal nexus for economic collaboration between developed and developing nations, the G20 must strive to change this situation, spearheading the efforts to empower the Global South with adequate support and paving the way for a more equitable and balanced development landscape.

Some developed countries should mend their ways first. Recently, to safeguard their privileged interests, these countries have resorted to self-serving measures such as decoupling and bloc confrontation.

The repercussions of these risky moves have created an artificial divide in an interconnected world and jolted global supply chains, burdening the global economy.

These countries must abandon their Cold War mentality and quit sacrificing the development rights of the Global South to pursue their interests. They must assume the responsibilities and lead the way in promoting global development.

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water," said India's Nobel laureate lyricist, Rabindranath Tagore. As the G20 summit unfolds in India, Tagore's profound wisdom is more relevant than ever. Just like crossing the sea, countries can't truly empower the Global South "merely by standing and staring." Concrete actions are needed.

As a developing country and a member of the Global South, China is at the forefront of this endeavor. During the recently concluded BRICS summit held in South Africa, China championed the most significant expansion of the BRICS, inviting Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join the group.

China also throws its weight behind the African Union's inclusion into the G20 and has pledged a special fund of 10 billion U.S. dollars to implement the Global Development Initiative it proposed.

Constantly, China has emphasized its dedication to safeguarding the interests of fellow developing countries. In the upcoming G20 summit, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will continue to advocate for the common development of the Global South countries, putting forth tangible measures to enhance their representation and voice on the global stage.

In empowering the Global South, China has set the wheels in motion. It is time for more G20 members to jump on the bandwagon and help build a world where all nations share development opportunities equally. This collective endeavor will be the most potent testament to this year's G20 summit theme: "One Earth, One Family, One Future."

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Sheng Chuyi)


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