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Indian diplomacy in current multilateral context

By Ioan Voicu - posted Friday, 4 November 2022

In a book entitled The Asian 21st Century, published in 2022, Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani, former Singapore Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), believes that the current growing US-China geopolitical contest makes India well-placed to provide a leading ethical voice on the international stage.

In the same context, the author writes that India is entering a geopolitical sweet spot. What does this mean? "In a world crying out for a strong, independent voice to provide moral guidance to a troubled planet, the only realistic candidate is India. None of the three other obvious candidates - the United States, the European Union, and China - can step up to the plate now. This assessment is followed by a significant condition saying:" If India can be as successful domestically as Indians are internationally, it can fulfill its potential to become a leading global superpower."

These challenging statements deserve to be analyzed in the light of a recent address by the head of Indian diplomacy, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India, at the general debate in the plenary of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, delivered on 24 September 2022.


The address starts by informing the 193 UN member states that India follows closely developments at the UN, "reflecting the increasingly globalized nature of our existence. We meet at a challenging time for the world order. This session's theme "A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges" – seeks to capture its seriousness."

We will present the full content of this address below in a detailed form using its original terminology.

The year 2022 is considered to be important milestone in India's journey towards growth, development and prosperity. "India is celebrating 75 years of its independence, what we call "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav". The story of that period has been one of toil, determination, innovation and enterprise of millions of ordinary Indians. They are rejuvenating a society pillaged by centuries of foreign attacks and colonialism. And they are doing so in a democratic framework, whose steady progress is reflected in more authentic voices and grounded leadership".

What is New India and its diplomacy?

Dr S Jaishankar explains in diplomatic terms what is meant by 'New India.'

It "is a confident and resurgent society. Its agenda for our centenary will be achieved through the five pledges that we committed to on Independence Day. One, we are resolved to make India a developed country in the next 25 years. For the world, that creates more capacities for global good.


Two, we will liberate ourselves from a colonial mindset. Externally, this means reformed multilateralism and more contemporary global governance.

Three, our rich civilizational heritage will be a source of pride and strength. This includes care and concern for the environment, so ingrained in our traditional ethos.

Four, we will promote greater unity and solidarity. This expresses a coming together on global issues, such as terrorism, pandemics or the environment.

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About the Author

Dr Ioan Voicu is a Visiting Professor at Assumption University in Bangkok

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