18 APRIL 2021 /
SIXTH EDITION /
RAISINA DIALOGUE /
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the four day virtual Raisina Dialogue organised jointly by the External Affairs Ministry and the Observer Research Foundation on 13 April 2021.
The Dialogue has been held annually since 2016 and it is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo economics.
The inaugural session was attended by the President of Rwanda and Prime Minister of Denmark as chief guests.
Many world leaders including Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morison attended the meeting.
The Raisina Dialogue has grown to emerge as a leading global conference on international affairs discussing broader foreign policy and strategic issues facing the world.
The name Raisina Dialogue comes from Raisina Hill, the seat of the Government of India and Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The Dialogue was designed on the lines of the Shangri-La Dialogue of Singapore.
The theme for the Conference is “#Viral World: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.
The sixth edition discussed various topics like – WHOse multilateralism? Reconstructing the UN and beyond,
Securing and diversifying supply chains, Global ‘Public Bads’: Holding Actors and Nations to Account, Infodemic: Navigating a ‘No-Truth’ World in the Brother and the Green Stimulus: Investing Gender, Growth and Development.
Foreign ministers of Singapore, Japan, Portugal and other 14 countries participated in the event.
Former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Abbott and former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helan Clark also attended the meeting.
Last year there was a significant relation between India and Australia. Diverse themes connected on one platform discussing the issues like resurgence of national identities, the changing geo-political, geo-strategic and geo-economic issues, climate change and examining various contemporary international events and its aspirations.
Other issues such as technology in the digital age and the threat to democracy and security also were highlighted.
Perhaps India and Australia are wary of China’s interference and threat on maritime security and freedom of navigation, the common concerns might have strengthened the need for greater cooperation.
After the Raisina Dialogue of 2016, Quad Dialogue involving India, US, Japan and Australia was very optimistic and became great partners in the strategic cooperation between them.
Addressing the virtual meeting, Australian Prime Minister described the recently held Quad leader’s summit as a “historic” moment for like-minded countries in the region.
“The Indo-Pacific is the region that will shape our prosperity, our security and our destiny, individually and collectively”.
“Democratic sovereign nations are being threatened and coerced by foreign interference,” the Australian Prime Minister said.
Regional Trade Pacts
During the Sixth edition Dialogue, Foreign Minister of Singapore, hoped that India would reassess its stand on regional trade agreements such as RCEP that India withdrew from in 2019 because of the concerns of Chinese goods amid an already wide trade imbalance with China.
The Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the world’s largest trade agreement between 10 ASEAN nations.
On Myanmar, the Foreign Minister made it clear and said:
“What ASEAN wanted was to stop the violence and then have direct dialogue between the military leadership and Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.”
Meanwhile in Myanmar, the invitation extended to the military chief to the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been vehemently criticised by the activists and leaders who have urged the world leaders not to recognise the military rule.
A parallel shadow interim government, National Unity Government (NAG) was formed by the members of the Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted Cabinet and major ethnic military groups and protesters rallied in support of the NAU across the country.