Closing Panel: The Emerging World Order and India’s Role
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, 18th December
Chair: Ambassador Shyam Saran
Speakers: Ibrahim Gambari, Nabil Fahmy, Vijay Gokhale (TBC)
The world is undergoing a momentous political, economic and social transformation and this is leading to major shifts in inter-state relations. The centre of gravity of the global economy is shifting from the trans-Atlantic to the trans-Pacific and in its wake existing security arrangements and alignments among states are also undergoing a change. The emergence of China as a front ranking power is one aspect of this transition, but Asia is now home to a cluster of major powers deploying significant economic and military capabilities. The trend towards multipolarity in Asia appears to be irreversible but this diffusion of power requires an appropriate economic and security architecture. What role can emerging powers like India play in shaping the Asian order? This is one challenge. The other is the reality of our increasingly inter-connected and interdependent world, in which the salience of cross-national global issues such as Climate Change, Cyber Security, Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Global Pandemics like Avian Flu, require global responses delivered through institutions of international governance and multilateral processes. Paradoxically, however, it is precisely at this historical inflexion point that we are witnessing a wave of narrow nationalism and rejection of multilateral institutions and collaborative initiatives. This is most damaging for developing countries whose interests are best served through a rule-based multilateral order. What role can emerging countries like India play in strengthening and in creating, where necessary, institutions of international governance, including the United Nations and reviving multilateral processes such as the World Trade Organization? This special session will bring together three very distinguished thinkers and high ranking diplomatic practitioners from the developing world to share their own perspectives on the transformation taking place in the world order, its scope, nature and possible evolution. Dr Nabil Fahmy, former Foreign Minister of Egypt will look at this subject from the unique standpoint of a leading country in the Arab world; Dr Ibrahim Gambari, former Foreign Minister of Nigeria, will present an African perspective. The session will be a rare and unprecedented opportunity to look at the world through a lens very different from the dominant Western narrative that sometimes conditions our thinking. The session will be moderated by Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India, who will also share an Indian view on the theme of the session. The aim of the session is not only to bring to the table perspectives from key developing countries which also play important roles in their respective regions but which also have a record of contributing to multilateral institutions and regional arrangements. It will also enable us to see India through their eyes, what India’s emergence means to them and what their expectations are concerning India’s role in this changing world order. It is hoped that this high level panel will be the first of many such conversations with fellow developing and emerging countries across the world. India will need to work together with them if it aspires to be one of the architects of the new world order.