In a recent address at an event, India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, shed light on the complex global challenges facing the world. Among these challenges, he emphasized the intricate and far-reaching consequences of ongoing conflicts and the misuse of terrorism as a tool of statecraft. His remarks came against the backdrop of the intensifying Hamas-Israel conflict in the Middle East, which has garnered significant global concern.
Jaishankar stressed that the days of containing the impact of conflicts and terrorism within their immediate geographies are long gone. The world’s interconnectedness, as highlighted by the ripple effect of the Russia-Ukraine war, demonstrates that global crises have repercussions beyond their primary locations.
The Foreign Minister also alluded to the profound disparities brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic. He cited the glaring example of “vaccine apartheid,” where some nations stockpiled vaccines while others in close proximity struggled to secure even a single dose.
S Jaishankar Discusses Impacts of Russia-Ukraine war
The impact of conflicts and terrorism transcends borders in a globalized world. While conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war capture international headlines, smaller events in different regions can have significant, albeit less conspicuous, effects.
Furthermore, Jaishankar delved into the issue of terrorism and its growing utilization as a tool of statecraft. Though not directly naming Pakistan, it was apparent that the reference was directed at the nation’s alleged support for various terror groups. The Foreign Minister highlighted that violence, in both formal and informal capacities, is pervasive and poses a considerable challenge.
In today’s seamlessly interconnected world, there is no room for complacency when it comes to the consequences of conflicts and terrorism. Jaishankar underscored that a significant part of this interconnectedness is economic, and he cautioned against underestimating the dangers of radicalism and extremism that can metastasize across the globe.
The Foreign Minister went on to list several global challenges, one of which is the mounting debt crisis. In recent years, there has been a surge in debt accumulation, often resulting from imprudent decisions, excessive borrowing, and obscure projects.
Market volatility has hit smaller economies with narrow trade baskets particularly hard. Countries reliant on tourism and remittances have borne the brunt of economic slowdowns. International financial institutions, hindered by resource constraints and prioritization issues, have been unable to provide sufficient support.
S Jaishankar Discusses impact of climate events
Jaishankar also urged a closer examination of the “directly disruptive” impact of climate events on the international economy. Climate change and extreme weather events pose a growing threat to global stability and require proactive mitigation measures.
The Foreign Minister acknowledged a shifting global hierarchy, with traditional powerhouses experiencing relative declines in influence. He highlighted the rise of “middle powers” that have gained prominence and influence within their respective regions. This phenomenon has been evident in the Gulf, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
India, situated in South Asia, has recognized the need for internal solutions to regional challenges. Whether it’s the First Responder operations in the Indian Ocean, providing COVID-19 assistance, or extending economic support to neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, India is adapting to this evolving global architecture.
Jaishankar cited examples of India’s response to changing geopolitics and geoeconomics. During its G20 presidency, India shifted the group’s focus towards growth and development, highlighting the concerns of the Global South. The country also advocated for the African Union’s permanent membership.
India is investing in critical and emerging technologies through transnational partnerships, particularly in the semiconductor domain. The Foreign Minister emphasized India’s commitment to reshaping and modernizing its global engagements to align with contemporary needs.
One standout initiative is the Quad, a strategic forum in the Indo-Pacific region. Additionally, the I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE, USA) and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) initiatives aim to bolster trade and connectivity. Jaishankar mentioned plans for expanding India’s global footprint through knowledge economy, digital transformation, and demographic shifts.
In conclusion, S Jaishankar’s address underscores the intricate web of global challenges that transcend borders and impact regions and economies. In an increasingly interconnected world, the old approach of containing conflicts and terrorism is no longer viable. Adaptation to these complex realities requires proactive solutions and international cooperation.