India Committed to Democratic &Rules Based International Order: Raisina Dialogue

“India is experiencing economic and social transformation on a scale which has rarely been seen in the history of the world.” In the past four and a half years, this comprehensive and energetic renewal of India’s global engagement has been founded on the motto of SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas,an emphasis on the welfare of all.

India, “stands for a democratic and rules based international order”,External Affairs Minister Smt. Swaraj said while delivering the first Ministerial Address on Wednesday 9 January 2019 at the 4thedition of the Raisina Dialogue:the three-day conference from 8 to 10 January, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi andoutlined following five key principles that have defined India’s Global engagement:

  • India has rebuilt bridges with its immediate neighbourhood.
  • India is shaping its relationship in a manner that synchronises with its economic and development priorities.
  • India seeks to become a human resources power by connecting its youth to global opportunities.
  • India is building sustainable development partnerships based on universally recognised international norms and good governance.
  • India is reinvigorating global institutions and organisations.

India had devoted a much higher level of resources and attention to its neighbourhood, “Our revitalised Act East and Think West paradigms have further broadened the reach of our strategic and economic ‘neighbourhood’.”

Indian Prime Minister’s strategic vision of SAGAR has spurred a qualitative transformation in India’s engagement with the Indian Ocean Region in recent years.

India is building Sustainable Development Partnershipsthat stretched from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Islands to the Caribbean, and from Africa to the Americas, and have expanded “both in geographical reach and sectoral coverage”.“Note that we refer to these as partnerships, and not assistance,” Swarajsaid.

India’s engagement with the world was rooted inits civilisational ethos: Co-Existence, Pluralism, Openness, Dialogue and Democratic Values, Swaraj elaborated and spoke briefly of the challenges that confront India and the international community, mentioned the threat of proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destructionand the risks associated with climate change:

  • Terrorism continues to be one of the most critical challenges being faced by the world today, “Today, no country, big or small, is immune from this existential threat, particularly, terrorism actively supported and sponsored by states”.
  • Ensuring zero tolerance towards terrorism and towards those using it as an instrument of convenience is the need of the hour.
  • India proposed a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN, as far back as 1996, but it remained a draft because of a lack of consensus on a common definition.
  • In this digital age, the challenge is even greater, with a greater vulnerability to radicalisation.
  • India’s successhas been a force for growth, peace and stability and an anchor for regional and global progress,
  • While the prosperity and security of Indians, both at home and abroad, is of paramount importance, self -interest alone does not propel us.
  • On Climate Change, “Developing and under-developed nations are the worst victims of climate change, with neither the capacity nor the resources to meet the crisis.”
  • India has risen up to meet this challenge.
  • India launched International Solar Alliancejointly with France last year with the participation of 120 countries, which will benefit our energy security and also combat climate change.
  • India is a proactive and constructive contributor to promoting and upholding Global Peace and Securitywith active role in humanitarian and disaster relief operations in its neighbourhood; and membership of key institutions of global governance.
  • On Global Disruptions, we lived in disruptive times,however, a “world in flux is not an unusual situation.” The critical question is: how do we respond to these transitions?
  • Platforms like the Raisina Dialogue were an important effort to find solutions in today’s networked and interdependent world.
  • Foreign Policyshould not remain confined to the select few and that there is a need to take these conversations to villages and small towns, to school classrooms, and to vernacular media outlets, “This is the only way to evolve a well informed and democratic approach to foreign policy that takes into account the voices of all stakeholders”.
  • SAMEEP,India’s innovative new initiative connects serving diplomats with their alma mater institutions, and our support to think tanks and research institutions to nurture research, scholarship and debate on foreign policy in different corners of the country.

India, with unwavering belief in multilateralism, speaks not just for itself but also for the cause of justice, opportunity and prosperity around the world, “For us, transformation is not just a domestic agenda but a global vision”.

India’s commitment to upholding territorial integrity and sovereignty remains unwavering. Our consistent message is that unresolved border issues can be resolved bilaterally, when approached in the right spirit and, in an atmosphere free from violence and hostility.

India is shaping its relationships in a manner that synchronises with India’s economic priorities. With this “diplomacy for development” approach, each global interaction is now focussed on building partnerships to promote our transformative flagship programmes such as Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India, AMRUT and NamamiGange.

India is focussed on making country a human resource power to be reckoned with, by connecting our talented youth to global opportunities.

This is being achieved through Skill India partnerships with several countries, as well as under the aegis of the GIAN programme and various private sector partnerships under Digital India.

India has also made an unprecedented outreach to itsDiaspora across the world, to tap into their skills, resources, and ideas.

All this is being done with the confidence that a prosperous, better connected and skilled young India will be the engine for growth and prosperity not only in South Asia but far beyond.

Swarajexpressed happiness that the proceedings of the Raisina Dialogue will not be confined to the venue alone but will be shared with thousands of viewers outside, thanks to some innovative digital partnerships.

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