India's Foreign Policy: Part-III

February 22, 2018

For India's Foreign Policy: Part-I (click here)

For India's Foreign Policy: Part-II (click here)

 

 

 

III. Act West Policy:

 

Significance of the region:

This is, by far, the most important external region for India, providing oil and gas that constitute 65 percent of energy imports, USD 35 billion in remittances from 9 million Indian nationals working there, and taking up 20 percent of our bilateral trade. With more than 700 flights a week, the region is, through the web of history, contemporary links, trade and expatriates, virtually a neighbour of India.

Act West’ — India’s Very Own Policy:

 

India has deftly reached out to both Israel and the Arab bloc, at a time when OPEC is struggling with low prices and sectarian strife

 

The agreement for the Indian Navy access to Duqm port’s Naval Dockyard is a useful development.

 

Duqm is a relatively small port – the largest tag goes to Port Salalah, which is in the western part of the country near Yemen and strategically located at the cross-roads of trade between Asia and Europe. However, Sohar, a deep sea port that has a free zone, is Oman’s fastest growing port.

 

 

IV. Project Mausam:

 

Focusing on monsoon patterns, cultural routes and maritime landscapes, Project ‘Mausam’ is examining key processes and phenomena that link different parts of the Indian Ocean littoral as well as those that connect the coastal centres to their hinterlands.

Broadly, Project ‘Mausam’ aims to understand how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean and led to the spread of shared knowledge systems, traditions, technologies and ideas along maritime routes.

These exchanges were facilitated by different coastal centres and their surrounding environs in their respective chronological and spatial contexts, and simultaneously had an effect on them.

 

  • At the macro level, it aims to re-connect and re-establish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean world, which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns;

  • At the micro level, the focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu.

 

A balance between Act East and Act West policy:

 

India’s maritime voyages and spiritual journeys to the Asean region, west as well as the east, are part of recorded history and cross-civilisation linkages are evident. 

The diplomatic initiatives we take, have long lasting impact on the already flourishing relationship. And the aim is to maintain the existing diaspora across the world and realise the possible potential in the future.

 

Non-Alignment Policy:

 

Members: 

 

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 

Observer states:

 

17 Observer States – Argentina, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Montenegro, Paraguay, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uruguay.

 

Observer organisations:

 

10 Observer Organizations – African Union, Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization, Common-wealth Secretariat, Hostosian National Independence Movement, Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, South Center, United Nations, Secretariat of the Commonwealth Nations, World Peace Council.

 

Background:

 

The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War, on the initiative of:

 

Jawaharlal Nehru: India

Josip Broz Tito: Yogoslavia

Col. Sukarno: Indonesia

Gamal Abdel Nasser: Egypt

Kwame Nkrumah: Ghana

 

as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral.

 

Relevance in the 21st century:

There is a common belief that at a time when globalisation is sweeping everything in its path, the Non-Aligned Movement has lost its relevance. It cannot be gainsaid that globalisation has led to unprecedented repercussions. But in view of the increase in clash of interests, conflicts, exploitation, and oppression, NAM is more relevant than ever before. The need of the hour is to rejuvenate and reorient NAM to suit the existing global scenario.

 

IBSA Dialogue Forum:

India

Brazil

South Africa

 

The IBSA Dialogue Forum (India, Brazil, South Africa) is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among these countries. 

 

The IBSA Dialogue Forum brings together three large pluralistic, multicultural and multiracial societies from three continents as a purely South-South grouping of like-minded countries, committed to inclusive sustainable development, in pursuit of the well-being for their peoples and those of the developing world. 

 

The IBSA Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund) is a pioneering and flagship programmes of IBSA which was established in March 2004 and became operational in 2006. This initiative of the Leaders of IBSA is supported and directed by their Governments and managed by the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU-SSC) hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

 

IBSA countries utilise successful methods, technologies and initiatives based on their own experiences and work with interested countries in distributing this expertise and knowledge as they can benefit those facing similar developmental challenges.

Conclusion:

With our Act East policy, Link West policy, neighbourhood first policy, Indian ocean outreach, Project Mausam, cooperation with Pacific islands, fast-track diplomacy and para diplomacy, we have engaged ourselves in improving our relationship with all the parts of the globe. The world has become globalised as never before and isolation for any country can become beyond the bounds of possibility. And quite successfully, India is imaginatively shaping the contours for a stable balance of power in Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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