Context: In today’s world with the multilateral arrangements like BRICS, Quad, G7 etc the exchange of ideas with world leaders, seeking common ground on burning issues and recalibrating our policy accordingly are at the heart of diplomacy
- But at a time when the world is trying to grapple with the impact of unprecedented problems, the various intergovernmental organisations and groupings, which are undergoing fundamental changes, may not be fertile places for building peace.
Perils of Multilateralism
- The composition of the group had its own contradictions right from the beginning.
- It had two permanent members of the Security Council together with three aspirants to permanent membership.
- The fundamental question of support for the three countries to secure permanent membership was fossilised on China’s position that the role of the developing countries should be enhanced, implying that there shall be no expansion of the permanent membership of the Security Council.
- Russia’s support for India also got diluted as a result.
- Even at the best of times, the BRICS partnership did not result in support for its three partners.
- The joint statement of BRICS summit 2022 did not indicate the stance that indicated in the beginning of a new relationship within BRICS.
- In 2022 Russia is legally obliged to take the Chinese side in any future showdown between India and China.
- With Russia continuing its war in Ukraine and China continuing to occupy Indian territory in Ladakh, there was little credibility in many of the words they used in the Joint Communique.
- China pushed for expansion of membership at the summit itself even at a time when BRICS had no credible global agenda.
- China showed no enthusiasm to bring India into the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) even after India met the criteria of a liberalised economy.
- China seems to think that BRICS would be an extension of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- The Sri Lankan experience has exposed the Chinese strategy; it has been India, not China, which has come to the rescue of Sri Lanka.
India’s participation in G7 summit
- The G7 made its own statement on the Ukraine war on expected lines and India was only involved in other issues such as environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality and democracy.
- The Prime Minister’s presence at the G7 summit enabled India to pursue several vital projects with G7 countries, but they will have to be pursued away from the theatre of war — an issue that has fully occupied the G7 countries .
- India’s gain has been the opportunity it got to interact with world leaders
At the UAE (Bilateral engagement)
- The limited gains of India at the BRICS and G7 summits have been in contrast with the enthusiastic welcome Prime Minister received in the United Arab Emirates.
- India with this visit tried to smoothen the cracked relations with UAE and other West Asian countries, which were hurt by the totally objectionable remarks made by two former spokespersons of the ruling party.
- The bilateral meeting was very effective.
Multilateral negotiations will be increasingly difficult in the present chaotic global situation. It is only by working bilaterally with potential allies that India can attain the status of a pole in the new world with steadfast friends and followers.
Source: The Hindu