H.E. President Irfaan Ali of the Co-operative Republic of Guyan addresses the inaugural session...
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High Commission of India



H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana addresses the inaugural session of the Voice of Global South Summit being organized by India on 12-13 January 2023.


His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana participated in the inaugural session of the Voice of Global South Summit on 12 January 2023.  In his address at the Voice of Global South Summit on 12 January, President Ali proposed a new global food system that incorporates a tax and financial system to directly combat hunger.


President Ali emphasised India’s strengths in technology, research and development, agro-processing, and human and technical capacity, and called for the formation of a team of experts to assist in food production in low-light and small island developing states. President said, “I suggest India because, in our honest reflection, it is clear that the multilateral organisations have not brought the required results in addressing hunger. “Today , Latin America and the Caribbean have more top position as the most food insecure region in the world. We must arrest the situation now, ” the president stated.


President Ali highlighted that India has demonstrated that it has the ability to respond to global challenges and global needs whenever the need arises.


Within this context, President Ali commended India on hosting the special virtual summit, noting that it is a demonstration of its noble intention of becoming a voice for the South. President said, “India’s presidency of the G20 and its proclaimed commitment of being the advocate of the South offers hope that within the global governance architecture, the concerns of the South will enjoy greater traction,” he pointed out.

President Ali highlighted the threats of physical extinction facing small islands and low-lying coastal states due to climate change, energy and food crises, the global pandemic, and interstate conflicts.


The President underscored the need for increased, improved, and fast access to concessional financing for climate adaptation to ensure greater resilience against the adverse effects of climate change.


President Ali stated that sustainable development is unachievable without food security, and therefore, the south must act collectively to guarantee its full security.  He said, “It can do so by dismantling artificial and unwarranted barriers to trade in agricultural commodities, attracting great investments in food production, and promoting the wider dissemination of agricultural technologies, especially climate-smart technologies,” he said.


The President also expressed support for India’s proposal to the United Nations to designate 2023 as the Year of Millets, small, round whole grains grown in India, and congratulated India on the recognition. The President also recommended that the Voice of Global South Summit convened by the Prime Minister of India be part of an ongoing conversation involving not only the countries of the south but also organisations such as the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of African Caribbean and Pacific States, Group of 77 and China. He reassured Guyana’s unwavering support in the areas of food security, energy security, climate security, human dignity and prosperity.


The "Voice of Global South Summit” is being organized by India on 12-13 January 2023 under the theme "Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose” envisages bringing together countries of the Global South to share their perspectives and priorities on a common platform. More than 120 countries are being invited to participate in this Summit.


The initiative is inspired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas, (the support of everyone, development for everyone, the trust of everyone and everyone’s effort). and is underpinned by India’s philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (World is One Family).


India is working to ensure that the valuable inputs generated from partner countries in the Voice of Global South Summit deliberations receive due cognizance globally.  India’s ongoing Presidency of the G20 provides a special and strong opportunity for those countries that are not part of the G20 process to share their ideas and expectations from the G20. This is in line with Prime Minister’s statement that India’s G20 Presidency will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow-travellers in the Global South, whose voice often goes unheard.


The Summit envisages ten sessions. Four sessions would be held on 12 January, and six sessions on 13 January. Each session is expected to witness the participation of Leaders/Ministers from 10-20 countries. The inaugural and concluding sessions would be at Head of State / Government level, and hosted by the Prime Minister. The theme of the Inaugural Leaders’ session is "Voice of Global South - for Human-Centric Development” and that of the Concluding Leaders’ session is "Unity of Voice-Unity of Purpose”. In addition, there would be 8 Ministerial sessions, with the following themes: Finance Ministers’ Session on "Financing People-Centric Development”, Environment Ministers’ Session on "Balancing Growth with Environment Friendly Lifestyles (LiFE)”, Foreign Ministers’ Session on "Priorities of the Global South - Ensuring a Conducive Environment”, Energy Ministers’ Session on "Energy Security and Development- Roadmap to Prosperity”, Health Ministers’ Session on "Cooperation to Build Resilient Healthcare Systems”, Education Ministers’ Session on "Human Resource Development and Capacity Building”, Commerce and Trade Ministers’ Session on "Developing Synergies in the Global South - Trade, Technology, Tourism and Resources” and Foreign Ministers’ Session on "G-20: Suggestions for India’s Presidency”

13 January 2023