Opinion | What Is The Global South? 

In India, the word “Global South” is increasingly appearing in the news during G-20 Summit as a new identity and new slogan. But this term was coined more than half century ago referring to emerging economies and poor countries. The term Global South was first coined in 1969 by political activist Carl Oglesby.

During the coronavirus pandemic the Western media reinvented the phrase Global South to distinguish between developed Western countries and Third world countries like, Brazil, South Africa, India and China etc. (please see the issue of NewStatesman, London, issue 24-30 April 2020). The “Global North” is richer nations that are located mostly in North America and Europe.

Recently, Global South is used as a “code word” for developing countries, middle powers, and countries looking to express their own sense of international affairs and strategy that does not have “MADE IN THE NORTH” (USA, Canada and Europe).

No doubt the word “Global South” is an important rallying cry and a sense of dissatisfaction with the established international institutions like United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IMF, World Bank, WTO etc. that promotes the interest of the Western World.

Now countries like India are trying to become the leader of the Global South. In January 2023, India organised a virtual summit of 120 countries from Asia, Latin America and Africa as “Voice of Global South” for G-20 Summit.

This month African Union (AU) has joined as the member of G-20. Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in New Delhi said that “let us disuse the notion that one country is going to emerge as leader of the Global South.”

Elaborating further on the leadership of the Global South, Mr. Magwenya said this notion that there is going to be competition as to who leads the Global South is something “we need to disuse ourselves from”.

In short, Global South are countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia. India is trying to use the word “Global South” in her own interest to create her influence in international affairs but will never be successful due to the emerging powers like Middle East (especially Saudi Arabia) , Turkey, Central Asia, Brazil, South Africa and China, are increasingly playing influential roles in global affairs.

Mohammad Seemab Zaman is a Geopolitical analyst. This article is taken from his Facebook wall. The views and opinions in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Millat Times.