India's Foreign Policy : News, Views and Discussion

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency​


September 13, 2022


India will assume the Presidency of the G20 for one year from 01 December 2022 to 30 November 2023.

2. Under its Presidency, India is expected to host over 200 G20 meetings across the country, beginning December 2022. The G20 Leaders' Summit at the level of Heads of State / Government is scheduled to be held on 09 and 10 September 2023 in New Delhi.

3. The G20, or Group of Twenty, is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies. It comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, USA) and the European Union (EU). Collectively, the G20 accounts for 85% of global GDP, 75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation. India is currently part of the G20 Troika (current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies) comprising Indonesia, Italy and India. During our Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice.

4. The G20 currently comprises:

(i) Finance Track, with 8 workstreams (Global Macroeconomic Policies, Infrastructure Financing, International Financial Architecture, Sustainable Finance, Financial Inclusion, Health Finance, International Taxation, Financial Sector Reforms)

(ii) Sherpa Track, with 12 workstreams (Anti-corruption, Agriculture, Culture, Development, Digital Economy, Employment, Environment and Climate, Education, Energy Transition, Health, Trade and Investment, Tourism)

(iii) 10 Engagement Groups of private sector/civil society/independent bodies (Business 20, Civil 20, Labour 20, Parliament 20, Science 20, Supreme Audit Institutions 20, Think 20, Urban 20, Women 20 and Youth 20).

5. In addition to G20 Members, there has been a tradition of the G20 Presidency inviting some Guest countries and International Organizations (IOs) to its G20 meetings and Summit. Accordingly, in addition to regular International Organizations (UN, IMF, World Bank, WHO, WTO, ILO, FSB and OECD) and Chairs of Regional Organizations (AU, AUDA-NEPAD and ASEAN), India, as G20 Presidency, will be inviting Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE as Guest countries, as well as ISA (International Solar Alliance), CDRI (Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure) and ADB (Asian Development Bank) as Guest IOs.

6. Whilst our G20 priorities are in the process of being firmed up, ongoing conversations inter alia revolve around inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth; LiFE (Lifestyle For Environment); women’s empowerment; digital public infrastructure and tech-enabled development in areas ranging from health, agriculture and education to commerce, skill-mapping, culture and tourism; climate financing; circular economy; global food security; energy security; green hydrogen; disaster risk reduction and resilience; developmental cooperation; fight against economic crime; and multilateral reforms.

New Delhi
September 13, 2022
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Visit of External Affairs Minister to the United States of America (September 18-28, 2022)​

External Affairs Minister (EAM), Dr. S. Jaishankar will be visiting the United States of America from 18-28 September 2022.

2. During his visit to New York from 18 to 24 September, EAM will be leading the India delegation for the High Level Week at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The theme of 77th UNGA is "A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges”.

3. In keeping with India’s strong commitment to reformed multilateralism, EAM will be hosting a Ministerial meeting of the G4 (India, Brazil, Japan, Germany), as well as participating at the High Level Meeting of the L.69 Group on "Reinvigorating Multilateralism and Achieving Comprehensive Reform of the UN Security Council”. The L.69 Group consists of developing countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean and Small Island Developing States, focused on reforms of the UN Security Council.

4. To commemorate and showcase Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, EAM would be addressing a special event "[email protected]: Showcasing India UN Partnership in Action” on 24 September, which would highlight India’s development journey and its contributions to South-South Cooperation. The event is expected to be addressed by the President of the 77th UNGA, along with Foreign Ministers of several member states, and the UNDP Administrator.

5. During the visit, EAM would also be participating in plurilateral meetings of the Quad, IBSA, BRICS, India – Presidency Pro Tempore CELAC, India-CARICOM and other trilateral formats, such as India-France-Australia, India-France-UAE and India-Indonesia-Australia. He will also have bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers of the G20 and UNSC member states, amongst others.

6. EAM’s address at the High Level Session of the 77th United Nations General Assembly is scheduled in the forenoon of 24 September.

7. During the visit, EAM will also be meeting with the UN Secretary General H.E. Mr. António Guterres and the 77th PGA H.E. Mr. Csaba Korosi.

8. Upon completion of the 77th UNGA related engagements, EAM will visit Washington D.C. from 25-28 September for bilateral meetings with US interlocutors. His program includes inter alia, discussions with his counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken; senior members of the U.S. Administration, US business leaders, a round-table focused on S&T and interaction with the Indian Diaspora. EAM's visit would enable a high-level review of the multifaceted bilateral agenda and strengthen cooperation on regional and global issues to further consolidate the India-US strategic partnership.

New Delhi
September 17, 2022
 

Amarante

Well-Known member
Jun 22, 2021
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La Défense, France
(thehindu, nov.23)

The ‘India pole’ in international politics

New Delhi detests falling in line and those who wish to work with India on the global stage must learn to deal with ‘India as a partner’ rather than ‘India as a cheerleader’

“Whose side is India on?” is one foundational question that constantly confronts practitioners, thinkers and commentators of India’s foreign policy. The ongoing war in Ukraine on the one hand and the confrontation between Russia (India’s traditional partner) and the United States and the West (also India’s partners) on the other have increased the frequency/regularity of this question. So whose side is India on, after all? Is India with Russia or with the U.S./the West in this war? The problem with these rather unidimensional questions is that they habitually assume that there are just a few select sides in world politics, and India is not a side with any geopolitical agency of major consequence. Notably, India gets asked “Whose side are you on?” far more than China does, for China is viewed as a side.

When great powers seek India’s support during geopolitical contestations, such as the one over Ukraine, they end up facing a stubborn India that is reluctant to toe the line. The inherent reason behind Indian reluctance, however, is not stubbornness but a sense of self which views itself as a pole in the international system, and not as a satellite state or a camp follower. India refuses to take sides because it views itself as a side whose interests are not accounted for by other camps or poles.

Some reflections on ‘India as a pole’ is perhaps appropriate at a time when India assumes the chair of the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), two institutions that are geopolitically significant today.

India is ‘a side’​


Indian policymakers, notwithstanding the relative material incapacity of the state, inherently think of themselves as a pole in the international system. New Delhi’s constant exhortations of a multipolar world are also very much in tune with this thinking about itself as a pole in a multipolar world.

There is a rich history to it. The origins of this thought can be found in the character of the country’s long struggle for independence; the pre and post-Independence articulations of leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhiji, and Bal Gangadhar Tilak among others on international politics; the (not uncontested) primacy India inherited as the legatee state of the British empire in South Asia; India’s larger than life civilisational sense of self; and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) experiment, have all contributed to India’s desire for a unique foreign policy identity and a voice in the comity of nations. For much of its modern independent history, India’s foreign policy has been a unique experiment. It has had its pitfalls, and has led to foreign policy mistakes, but that does not take away from its unique sense of external agency. Modern India’s largely endogenous moorings have lent themselves to the self-assumed identity of a unique pole in a multipolar world. Herein lies the origin of a modern state which refuses to be led by another pole or easily aligned to one, but sees itself as a pole instead.

Historically, India’s view of itself as a pole is evident in the manner in which it used to pursue non-alignment for several decades after Independence. Some vestiges of this continue to inform India’s foreign policy to this day. It is also important to point out that India’s non-alignment is often misunderstood given that a number of foreign commentators and practitioners interpret it as neutrality. For India, however, non-alignment is not neutrality, but the ability to take a position on a given issue on a case-by-case basis.


What it entails​


What does being a pole mean for India? The classical view of polarity is one of domination of the international system by the great powers, the balances of power by them, and alliance-building based on ideology or distribution of power for the purposes of such balancing. India, however, has a different view of itself as a pole. It has not actively sought to dominate the South Asian regional subsystem even when it could (even though it occasionally and reluctantly intervened, but often with disastrous consequences); its balancing behaviour has been subpar, it has refused to build alliances in the classical sense of the term, or sought camp followers or allegiances. As a matter of fact, even its occasional balancing behaviour (for instance, the 1971 India-Soviet Treaty during the Bangladesh war) was contingent on emergencies.

If India’s idea of being a pole in the international system is not strictly governed by the classical understanding, what indeed are the various elements of India’s idea of being a pole? For one, and to be fair, it does believe it has a strategic periphery in South Asia where it has a natural claim to primacy. Two, it discourages interference by other powers in that space. Three, it often tends to speak for ‘underprivileged collectives’, physical (South Asia) or otherwise (NAM, developing nations, global south, etc. in varying degrees); and it welcomes the rule of law and regional order. India’s historical focus on the region has been more of a provider of common goods than as a rule setter or/of demander of allegiance. Could one say, without nationalistic overindulgence, that India’s idea of being a pole is deeply entrenched in a normative framework? Perhaps.


What the world ought to know​


If the above is a complicated but reasonably accurate description of India’s sense of its place in the world, those seeking to win India over to one camp or another must note that New Delhi detests falling in line. India’s recent or past statements on issues of global importance — be it Ukraine or Iraq, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s aerial campaign in Serbia, or bringing climate change to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — indicate that it tends to take positions that not just suit its interests but are also informed by its sense of being a unique player on the global stage. This is key to understanding India’s external behaviour.

Notwithstanding the geopolitical difficulties that India faces today, India is a pivotal power in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, with an ability to help tackle security, climate and other challenges of global consequence. Western powers must, therefore, treat India as a partner rather than as a cheerleader. They should mainstream India into global institutions such as the UNSC, and consult India rather than dictate to India which side to take. The question to ask India is not “whose side are you on?” but “what is your side?”.

As India becomes the chair of the G20 and the SCO in 2022, it will further seek to assert itself as a major pole in the international system, and dissuade demands to follow one camp or another. Therefore, those wishing to work with India on the global stage must learn to deal with the ‘India pole’. /end