Welcome Remarks by the Director VIF during Vimarsh Panel Discussion on “India’s G20 Presidency: Forging Actionable Agenda for Global South” at the VIF on 24 Feb 2023
Dear Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to today’s Vimarsh Panel Discussion on the “India’s G20 Presidency: Forging Actionable Agenda for Global South”. This event is being organised jointly by the VIF and India Writes Network.

Keynote Speaker

I am most grateful to Sh Amitabh Kant, India’s Sherpa for G20 for agreeing to deliver the keynote address today. He constantly interacts with global policy makers in shaping the G20 agenda. As former CEO of NITI Aayog, he drove several key reforms and initiatives of the government. He has tirelessly promoted Brand India across the world. India’s presidency of G20 is a matter of pride to every Indian. Mr Kant is devoting all his efforts to ensure that G20 comes to a successful and meaningful conclusion later this year.

The Panel

We have an eminent panel with vast experience of international diplomacy and governance. I would like to welcome the esteemed panellists and thank them for joining us today.

Sh V Srinivas, Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is an experienced administrator, scholar and author. He is spearheading administrative reforms in the government. He has recently written a highly informative and analytical book that provides insights into the functioning and achievements of G20.

Ambassador Muktesh Pradeshi is the Special Secretary in charge of G20 operation. He has the responsibility to ensure smooth implementation of arrangements. He has been India’s envoy in New Zealand and Mexico.

Amb Lakshmi Puri, a veteran diplomat, has long experience of working in the UN System. She has deep insights into the concerns and expectations of the countries of Global South. She was Assistant Secretary General, United Nations and the founding Deputy Executive Director of UNWOMEN.

Amb Sujan Chinoy is the Indian Chair of the Think 20 Engagement Group for India’s G20 Presidency. He is also the Director General of MPIDSA and a former ambassador to Japan and Mexico. T20 is an important engagement group under G20. It has set up several task forces, which are generating ideas for the G20. His insights into the contributions of T20 to G20 will be most welcome.

I would also like to thank Sh Manish Chand, CEO of India Writes Network and editor in Chief of India and the World for joining us for this event. He has brought out a highly informative Special Edition of India and the World titled India’s G20 Moment: Healing Hope and Harmony. Several renowned commentators and experts, including some of the panelists present today, have contributed to this Special Edition.


Prime Minister Modi has taken upon himself to amplify the voice of the Global South at the G20. Setting up a precedent, India organised a virtual summit of over 120 leaders of the Global South. This initiative has been well-received across the world. It is heartening to note that several of G-7, like Kishida, Macron, and Scholz, have picked up the theme and spoken about the need for a durable partnership between the North and the Global South in addressing the latter’s concerns in the interest of global stability.
The theme Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam was never more relevant to the world than it is today. The Russia-Ukraine war has generated tremendous stresses in the global system. A lot of friction points have emerged. The countries of the Global South are particularly vulnerable as the recent food, fertilizer, and fuel crises have shown.

The Global South complex challenges in the backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions. India can help identify the critical issues and draw the attention of the world, particularly ofthe developed countries, who should share the responsibility for creating many of the problems today.

India can leverage its culture and soft power and experience to identify the way ahead. Some years ago, India played an important role in getting the UN to declare one day as the International day of the Yoga. India can rise to the occasion once again. The experience of the pandemic has underlined the urgency of the holistic approach to health and healing. The Ayurveda epitomises precisely that. Using its G20 moment, India could make a unique contribution by inscribing Ayurveda and holistic health in the agenda of G20 leaders. This is relevant to the Global South and the whole world.

In today’s discussion, we hope to explore the forging of actionable agenda for the Global South. Hopefully, the discussion on the relevance of global south to the new world order will go beyond the next G20 summit.

I would like to present VIF’s mementos to our esteemed guests.

Thereafter, I will request the Sherpa and the esteemed panelists to release the magazine.

I now request the Sherpa to kindly deliver his Keynote address.

**Thank You**

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