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The geopolitics of future lies in your hands

The changing global geo-political and geo-economic landscape requires a new agile, carefully strategised diplomatic response

I welcome each and every one of you to Upa Rashtrapathi Bhawan. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate all of you for choosing the Indian Foreign Service as a profession. The Foreign Service offers you the privilege of being India’s ambassador’s to the world.

The Service offers a challenging and exciting career and a truly unique opportunity to take our country’s great civilizational and cultural ethos with its developmental aspirations to the rest of the world.

My dear young friends,

You will soon be given the crucial responsibility of being all the spokespersons, interpreters and narrators of India’s story to the world.

You will construct new bridges of understanding, appreciation and collective advancement between India and the rest of the world and build new, forward looking and stable partnerships between nations.

You can play an important role in shaping the geopolitics of the future and in determining the new world order.

We are now living in a world that is more connected than ever before. The world is truly a ‘Global Village’. It is also swiftly changing in many unprecedented ways.

The changing global geo-political and geo-economic landscape requires a new agile, carefully strategised diplomatic response.

I see a number of challenges that budding diplomats such as yourself would have to deal with and overcome.

Despite the acknowledged need for an Integrated World Order, new ‘walls’ are being erected to the free flow of goods and services and people as well.

This return of the unwelcome tendency of protectionism has the potential to adversely impact the global effort for collective advancement.

Let me impress upon you the grave nature of the threat that the world community as a whole faces due to terrorism. No country in the world is immune to the consequences of terrorism now and therefore curbing this menace would require a united response from world nations.

India has consistently taken an unrelenting and uncompromising stand against terrorism, we must continue to be champions of peace.

We are now confronted by the unethical acts of financial fugitives.

The ease with which they find safe havens in other countries escaping the long arm of law is a serious global concern. Extradition Treaties and all bilateral and multilateral agreements need to be constantly updated and overhauled to defend and safeguard the integrated global economic order for collective good.

To transform this world into the world we want, in consonance with the United Nations’ transformative, ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world needs India. The world needs India not only because we are home to nearly 1.3 billion people comprising one- sixth of humanity. The world needs India because the problems and challenges facing the planet today need a humane, holistic vision.

The world needs India because it needs a voice that speaks of peace, non-violence and peaceful coexistence. The world needs India because it needs to harness the potential of dialogue and discussion, collaboration and cooperation.

This vision and voice, this attitude and belief are what India has stood for over the last twenty millennia. This vision and voice of India is more relevant to the world than ever before.

Our core civilisational principle of viewing the world as ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and our prayer of ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu’ gives us the moral strength and courage to influence global discourse in these testing times of great turbulence.

I am glad to note that India has taken the lead in building sustainable development solutions.

International Solar Energy Alliance, launched under India’s initiative at the COP 21 in Paris is one such example.

You must continually look for opportunities to provide similar leadership and lead the global agenda setting and implementation in as many fields as possible.

Our foreign policy formulation and implementation must be firmly tied to the domestic development agenda.

There is a constant need for a sustained dialogue and exchange of information between India’s representatives abroad and those who are implementing the development initiatives back home.

With India moving on the development path swiftly, the world is looking at India with keen interest. We must not hesitate to take advantage of this momentum by capitalizing opportunities in areas of trade, services, investments and infrastructure. Diplomats must be proactive in enabling Indian industries and business to tap into world markets and must do their best in encouraging foreign investment to flow into India.

Just recently, we have conducted the ‘largest festival of democracy’. We have conducted the elections in a peaceful and orderly manner. The people have made their choice with a resounding clarity and voted for stability.

“I hope that all people will continue to deepen the roots of our rich democratic tradition and focus our collective energies on development, reforms and enhancement of the quality of our people’s lives”.

India is strong and is gaining in strength because we are open to good ideas from all over the globe.

Edited excerpts from a speech by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to the Officer Trainees of 2018 Batch of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Bhutanese Diplomats, in New Delhi, May 28, 2019

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