New Delhi: A robust response to the Covid-19 challenge will dominate global diplomacy this year and India has set an example on that front, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek magazine.
In his piece titled Reimagining Diplomacy in the Post-COVID World: An Indian Perspective published Wednesday, Jaishankar also criticised “multilateral institutions”, saying they failed to constitute a collective response to the “most serious global crisis since 1945”, and must introspect.
Jaishankar also said terrorism will be a major focus in India’s diplomacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and in forums like Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and G20.
‘Real globalization about pandemics, climate change and terrorism’
In his op-ed, Jaishankar argued that the pandemic has changed the perceptions and nature of globalisation.
“The general sense is one of trade, finance, services, communication, technology and mobility… What COVID, however, brought out was the deeper indivisibility of our existence. Real globalization is more about pandemics, climate change and terrorism,” he wrote.
He also pointed out that security has been redefined not just in terms of military, intelligence, economic and cultural, but also health.
He further argued that with a “robust” response to the Covid challenge set to dominate global diplomacy in 2021, three aforementioned pillars — pandemics, climate change and counter-terrorism — must “constitute the core of diplomatic deliberations”.
‘Indian diplomacy leading the way to combat climate change’
Citing the International Solar Alliance, founded by India and France in 2015, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure initiatives as examples, Jaishankar said “Indian diplomacy is leading the way” in terms of combating climate change.
With regard to the Paris agreement, India’s “renewable energy targets have multiplied, its forest cover has grown, its bio-diversity has expanded and its focus on water utilization has increased”, he wrote.
These practices to combat climate change are now being adopted in Africa and other countries, he added.
India’s achievements with Covid, mass vaccination, repatriation
The external affairs minister also praised India’s efforts in tackling Covid-19 within its own borders.
India has set an example for the world by “defying prophets of doom”, minimising its fatality rate and maximising its recovery rate, he wrote.
With total cases in India at around 3.08 lakh, active cases in the country have fallen to the lowest since 13 June 2020 and, in the last five days, daily deaths have remained below 100 in India.
He also called India the “pharmacy of the world”, supplying medicines to more than 150 countries, and credited it for launching the “largest repatriation exercise in history” — the Vande Bharat Mission.
“Modi’s assurance that it would help make vaccines accessible and affordable to the world is already being implemented,” he added.