Modi flags concerns over high food, fuel and fertiliser prices; says unsure when crisis will end

The world is in a state of crisis and it is difficult to predict how long this state of instability will last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday referring to various global challenges arising out of conflict, war and terrorism among others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the opening session of the Voice of Global South Summit, via video conferencing. Photograph: PTI Photo

In his opening remarks at the Voice of Global South virtual summit, Modi flagged concerns over rising prices of food, fuel and fertilisers, economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as natural disasters driven by climate change.

“We are meeting as a new year dawns and brings new hopes and new energy,” Modi said.


“We have turned the page on another difficult year that saw war, conflict, terrorism and geo-political tensions.

“Rising food, fertiliser and fuel prices, climate change-driven natural disasters and lasting economic impact of the Covid pandemic,” he said.

“It is clear that the world is in a state of crisis. It is difficult to predict how long this state of instability will last,” Modi added.

The prime minister said the need of the hour is to identify simple, scalable and sustainable solutions that can transform societies and economies.

“Despite the challenges the developing world faces, I remain optimistic that our time is coming.

“And our time is coming. The need of the hour is to identify simple, scalable and sustainable solutions that can transform our societies and economies.

“With such an approach, we shall overcome the difficult challenges,” he said.

“I am confident that together the Global South can produce new and creative ideas.

“These ideas can form the basis of our voice in the G20 and other forums.

“In India, we have a prayer…it means may noble thoughts come to us from all directions of the universe.

“This Voice of Global South Summit is a collective effort for gaining noble ideas for our collective futures,” Modi said.

The prime minister noted that the Global South has the largest stakes in the future of the world.

“We, the Global South, have the largest stakes in the future. Three-fourths of humanity lives in our countries.

“We should also have equivalent voice.Hence, as the eight-decade-old model of global governance slowly changes, we should try to shape the emerging order,” he said.

The ‘Global South’ largely refers to countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

The prime minister said that as India begins its G20 Presidency this year, it is natural that our aim is to amplify the voice of the Global South.

India is hosting the two-day summit to bring together countries of the Global South and provide them a common platform to share their common concerns relating to various global challenges, including food and energy security triggered by the Ukraine conflict.

The theme of the inaugural leaders’ session is “Voice of Global South – for Human-Centric Development” while the leaders’ concluding session will be on “Unity of Voice-Unity of Purpose”.

The summit envisages ten sessions out of which four sessions would be held on Thursday while six sessions would take place on Friday.

Each session is expected to witness the participation of leaders and ministers from 10-20 countries.

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