Raisina Dialogue 2020: India’s commitment to multilateralism in international relations

With the globalisation and technological progress transforming the scales for global geo-political balance, the World States are more interconnected and interdependent than ever before, facing serious challenges of this new world, some of them including, climate change, terrorism, cybersecurity threats, environmental degradation and natural and humanitarian calamities. When it comes to address such issues, multilateralism comes out to be the only solution. The world needs collaboration and not coercion, reiterates the Non-Aligned Movement, calling on the Member States to take a lead in constructing structures based on multilateral governance to meet these global challenges.

Emerging as the rising power in the global arena, India has shown its steadfast engagement with multilateral international institutions, the United Nations in particular, of which it is a founding member. Acting in line with the efforts to intensify cooperation with the international community and calling out for multilateralism, India has showcased its escalating multilateral ties with a number of international organisations, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and several others, demonstrating its wholehearted cooperation and unreserved support for the concept of multilateralism that has become a cornerstone of international relations. Its evolution in its strategic approach of achieving multilateral cooperation with the international community has been a subject of attention.

India’s premier foreign policy conference, the prestigious Raisina Dialogue which is committed to give an address to the problems and issues facing the global community is one such initiative to boost the collective efforts for cooperation among the member states to confront the issues concerning global importance. Having commenced in 2016, the Dialogue is hosted in the National Capital, New Delhi to discuss cooperation on an expansive pertinent matter concerning international policy.

Jointly hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, the Government of India and the Ministry of External Affairs, the global leaders in policy, civil society, members of media and academics and private sector executives were hosted at the 5th edition of India’s flagship global Conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. With the theme titled “Navigating the Alpha Century” the Raisina Dialogue 2020 aimed to find solutions, identify opportunities and enable stability to a century that has observed an eventful two decades. The idea behind the multilateral conference, one of the huge events to mark the commitment of the nations across the world towards multi-polarity, is to explore opportunities and prospects of Asian integration and Asia’s amalgamation with the rest of the world.

The national impulses challenging global institutions and collective action, the debate on the global trading architecture economic and military power, the state-individual relationship in the age of digital communities and cyberspace, the role of technology in determining political arena and the global development agenda were the five thematic pillars of the dialogue concerning efforts to boost multilateralism at a time when the international relations are becoming institutionalised due to economic globalisation and regional integration.

The event witnessed an active participation of more than 700 officials from over 100 countries across the globe. Of those 700 officials, 40 per cent were women highlighting India’s commitment towards bridging the gender gap. Since the time of its inception in 2016, till its fifth edition in 2020, the Raisina Dialogue has acquired an excellent global profile providing a platform for the unification of strategic thinkers across the globe. The collaborations and union in the Raisina Dialogue has grown along with India’s diplomatic profile, representing India’s international creditability and its deliberative ethos.

With their commitment towards the common global issues, the nations emphasised on the need for the protection of multilateral rules and also called on for concerted efforts for multiplication of these rules to ensure the security of the system that shapes the new international order. When the world is living in a chaotic situation of neither completely being a bipolar or a unipolar world nor a multipolar world, it becomes the need of the hour to rope in multilateralism, of which not only the executive branches form a part of but also more and more business community, academia and civil society perform a role, together analysing the problems, designing the strategies and policies and implementing the plans. Raisina Dialogue is an effort that highlights dedication on part of India giving a nod to multi-alignment that it is making use of every opportunity and all kinds of platforms available to engage with the foreign lands both bilaterally and multilaterally.

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