India ‘strongly condemns’ civilian casualties in Israel-Hamas conflict: PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi’s remarks came in his inaugural speech at the virtual Voice of Global South Summit.

Updated - November 17, 2023 10:09 pm IST

Published - November 17, 2023 11:27 am IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the inaugural session of the Voice of Global South Summit via a video conference on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the inaugural session of the Voice of Global South Summit via a video conference on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday “strongly condemned” the civilian casualties in the ongoing violence in Gaza Strip. Delivering the inaugural speech at the second virtual Voice of Global South Summit, Mr. Modi reiterated his condemnation of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, and said that the Global South should speak in one voice on critical matters. He further announced that India is set to host a global partnership summit on artificial intelligence (AI) next month which will promote responsible use of technology to reduce the gap between developed and developing economies.

“We are all seeing that developments in West Asia are giving birth to new challenges. India has condemned the dastardly terror attack on Israel on October 7. We urged for restrained response along with dialogue and diplomacy. We strongly condemn the death of civilians in Israel-Hamas conflict,” said Prime Minister Modi in his remarks.

Also read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 42 updates

Briefing the media later in the evening, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra informed that several participating leaders raised the ongoing violence in Gaza as well as concern about international terrorism.

The first Voice of Global South Summit, last January, was dominated by the commodities crisis triggered by the Ukraine war. However, the eruption of the crisis in the Gaza Strip has shifted focus considerably from Ukraine to West Asia. As in the case of Ukraine, India has initiated the operation to evacuate nationals from Israel even as PM Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar continue to hold conversations with regional stakeholders in West Asia and the Gulf region, which is home to around six million expatriate workers. “After speaking to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, India sent relief material to the Palestinians,” PM Modi said highlighting India’s commitment to find a solution to the crisis that has killed around 11,000 Palestinian civilians including at least five thousand children.

Friday’s summit also witnessed the launch of DAKSHIN – the Development and Knowledge Sharing Initiative – Global South Centre for Excellence. This initiative was announced during the first virtual summit in January and was realised on Friday. ”The Global South Centre for Excellence will work as a think tank and also as a repository of knowledge for development initiatives,” Foreign Secretary Kwatra said while explaining the scope of the centre. He also informed that a new initiative Global South Young Diplomats Forum was launched during the deliberations of Friday.

Highlighting the attention that India has extended to the Global South during its Presidency of G-20, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar said it was necessary to extend attention of G-20 to the “pressing needs” of the Global South that were disturbed by the pandemic and conflicts. “All of us are acutely aware of the growing stress on the international economy and global society. Longstanding structural inequities have been seriously aggravated by the devastation of the Covid pandemic. This has been made still worse by the fuel, food and fertiliser crises emanating from the Ukraine conflict and its responses.

PM Modi revisited the diplomatic outreach by India to the Global South that was witnessed during the G-20 summit of last September. He specifically highlighted the inclusion of the African Union as a new member in the G-20 grouping. He further urged that the gap between the North and the South should be minimised to ensure access to new technology and initiatives.

“New technology should not become a source of creating distance between the North and the South. In this age of AI, it is necessary to ensure responsible use of technology. To ensure that next month India will host AI technology summit,” PM Modi said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.