Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged an overhaul of international financial institutions, arguing that disadvantaged countries are currently being deprived of the funds they need to develop.
In a video address to G20 development ministers on Monday, Modi said that the Covid-19 pandemic had taken a severe toll on the countries of the Global South, while geopolitical tensions have also adversely affected the availability of food, fuel and fertilizers.
Against this backdrop, a number of developing countries have found themselves burdened by growing debt coupled with stagnating economies, the Indian premier added.
According to Modi, global financial institutions should relax their criteria to ensure that funds are made available to countries facing economic hardship.
“We must ensure that no one is left behind,” the Indian leader insisted.
Modi also cited India’s own experience of improving economic conditions in more than 100 ‘aspirational districts’ which were previously among the most underdeveloped parts of the country.
He stated that thanks to a government program, these areas have now become catalysts of growth.
The G20 Expert Group on strengthening multilateral development banks (MDBs) is currently considering ways to increase the lending capacity of institutions.
In addition, Modi emphasized the important role which digitalization and technology have played in improving the economic situation in India.
Last month, the Indian premier called for reforms to the UN, claiming that the international organization has ceased to be effective in preventing conflicts.
Speaking to G7 leaders in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Modi argued that the “institutions created in the last century are not in line with the system of the 21st century,” as they no longer “reflect the realities of the present.”
According to the prime minister, the nations of the Global South should be given more of a say at the UN Security Council.