The third India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi this week, with over 40 African heads of governments and states attending, will be the biggest foreign policy event hosted by India in more than three decades. While this process was partly in response to initiatives by other emerging powers, particularly the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation launched in 2000, it was also a belated recognition that Africa was becoming an indispensable continent for India’s future—one that New Delhi can ignore at its own detriment.
Time was when the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) jamboree in New York was an entertaining but worthless talkfest used by leaders such as Hugo Chavez, Muammar Gaddafi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—desperate for their 15 minutes of international fame—to deliver sonorous, rambling grandiose or boorish speeches. More recently, however, the UNGA meeting and related special sessions around it have made the occasion a smidgen more relevant. Coupled with the re-engagement of existing and emerging powers with the proceedings, the UNGA is becoming an important venue for a great power dance.
By most accounts, Prime Minister Modi’s government has notched up a good year in the foreign policy realm, with Modi himself being the principal planner and implementer of the most significant initiatives.
Hosted by NYU CIC, Saferworld, and the Observer Research Foundation
India has been active in information and framing the post-2015 development agenda, in particular emphasizing the need to maintain a strong focus on eradicating extreme poverty and the importance of clarity regarding the mans of implementation if the new global development agenda is to be legitimate and effective.