Raisina Dialogue 2020
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TOPIC: General Studies 2
- India’s relation with neighbouring countries
The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics. It is a unique opportunity to discuss the big trends shaping our world and how to define common answers to the most pressing problems.
The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs.
Theme: Navigating the Alpha Century
This year’s Dialogue saw the participation of a large number of ministers from Europe, an area that has long been neglected in Indian diplomacy. Beyond political leaders and government officials, it also drew technology leaders, media personalities and policy wonks from around the world, providing Delhi an opportunity to lay out its position on controversial moves in Kashmir and on citizenship. More broadly, Raisina is facilitating the development of sustainable intellectual networks between the Indian strategic community and its counterparts in the world.
Part of the reason for Raisina’s success is the growing international interest in India amidst its rapid economic growth in the new millennium and the recognition of its salience in shaping the future of international order. It is also due to the fact that it is based on collaboration between the government and a private think tank. This collaboration has helped shed the dull rigidity that has marked the government’s past engagement with the global strategic community. Raisina emerged out of a recognition five years ago that Delhi did not have effective international platforms of its own despite the globalisation of India’s economy — trade now contributes nearly 40 per cent of India’s GDP. Raisina was part of the strategy to recalibrate that discourse and discard the traditional bureaucratic pretence that the government knows best.
Crises in the wider Middle East: The Middle East is the region where ‘politics and diplomacy deficit’ is the greatest. There have been very serious escalation of violence and tensions in multiple crises in Iraq, Iran, Libya and beyond. All eyes of the world are fixed on the region as we all have a stake in the future of a region that for too long has been marked by extremist forces, cycles of violence and the logic of tit-for-tat. To counter these dangerous trends, the EU is fully engaged and our message is the same for all parties: we call for de-escalation and concrete efforts to heal regional divisions.
With respect to Iran, the EU – like India – continues to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and, as the EU, we will continue our coordinating work for the full implementation in all its aspects. This agreement is vital for the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture as well as regional stability.
The strategic space of the Indo-Pacific region: Politics and economics are inter-linked, and so are Asia and Europe. The term Indo-Pacific reflects the recognition that India’s power and purpose will be vitally important to the region and to resolving and supporting shared security challenges. India has taken on an increasingly active role in the Indian Ocean.
Key focus areas:
- Terrorism, threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and climate change.
- Digital age and radicalization: In the digital age, the challenge is even greater, with a greater vulnerability to radicalization.
- Rules-based order: India reiterated its stand for a democratic and rules-based international order, in which all nations thrive as equals.
Persian Gulf Regional Dialogue Forum
- In order to address the lingering conflicts and mistrust in the Gulf region, Iran proposed a new platform for regional peace building.
- The announcement of Persian Gulf Regional Dialogue Forum is significant as it comes in the wake of continued erosion of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which in the recent years has been divided between the Iranian and the Saudi spheres.
Disruptive policies not an option
There is a view among some policy analysts that India too can adopt a “disruptive” approach as a clever tactic in foreign affairs. Disruption is not an end in itself. It has to be a means to an end. Powerful nations can afford disruption as tactics. India cannot risk such tactics without measuring the risk they pose to strategy.
Do you know?
- As far back as 1996, India proposed a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN, but it remained a draft because of a lack of consensus on a common definition.
- International Solar Alliance to tackle Climate Change – India jointly launched with France last year with the participation of 120 countries.