India’s rapid capability response, effective supplies to those in need, strong social discipline and visible leadership have all stood out during the pandemic – Dr S Jaishankar, EAM

| SamvadaWorld Staff
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar speaks at the WION Global Summit (Image courtesy: WION News)

Key points of EAM’s speech:

  • The pandemic came as a shock to the entire global system and introduced many more variables
  • The world will be a different place than just wearing masks
  • The collective character of the West, including its alliance manifestation, is also no longer the same
  • The Pandemic raised fundamental concerns about the virtues of globalization by bringing out the importance of reliable supply chains
  • Game-changing nature of technology has had sweeping consequences among them the growth and power of Big Tech
  • COVID19 has made health security and food security far more integral to national security of countries
  • India harmonized its domestic priorities with its global outlook with Vaccine Maitri which extends to almost 80 nations
  • India’s rapid capability response, effective supplies to those in need, strong social discipline and visible leadership have all stood out during the pandemic

Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar has said that India’s rapid capability response, effective supplies to those in need, strong social discipline and visible leadership have all stood out during the COVID19 pandemic. He was speaking at the 4th Edition of the WION Global Summit on the theme “Power Play in a Post Pandemic World”. He addressed the summit virtually.

In his opening remarks he said that Power plays existed well before the pandemic and could be considered a continuous factor in the evolution of the world order. “They reflect the relationships between states, sometimes within them as well. Because the nation state is the fundamental unit of international politics, the focus naturally tends to be on the interplay of national interests and national behaviour”, he said.

The two main characteristics of the world order today are the phenomena of multi-polarity and of re-balancing, he said. The first represents the emergence of more consequential players, as opposed to two major ones during the Cold War, one after that, and a few more thereafter in the making. The second not only captures the different weightage of players but also the changes in our assessment of their importance and influence. It means assertions of identity and different conversations. The entire process is, of course, set against the backdrop of globalization and the debates around its merits.

Speaking on the rise of new power centres like India and China, he said that the new players were one part of the story as the American strategic posture is equally important. “The collective character of the West, including its alliance manifestation, is also no longer the same. In many cases, historical players like Russia, Turkey or Iran are far more active in their near vicinity”, he reminded. The continents of Africa and Latin America are more aware of their interests and more focused on pursuing them, he said.

On Globalization he said that it has come with its own constraints and dependence. The resulting anxieties have also had both political and cultural expressions as the game-changing nature of technology has had sweeping consequences, among them the growth and power of Big Tech. New metrics of power have emerged, such as connectivity, he said.

On the global scenario in a post-COVID19 world, he said that the pandemic came as a shock to the entire global system and introduced many more variables, he said.

“For example, it has raised fundamental concerns about the virtues of globalization by bringing out the importance of reliable supply chains. It has also brought out in the open the behaviour of states at times of stress, thereby highlighting the more uncomfortable realities of global politics”, he said. He further highlighted challenges to governance in different societies and made people realize the quality of leadership and the strength of motivation.

“It has made health security and perhaps food security far more integral to national security of countries. And it has accelerated digitization, whether it is by work from home, delivery to the vulnerable or monitoring the pandemic itself”, he said. Though the full extent of these changes is still far from clear, the world will be a different place than just wearing masks, he remarked.

Answering the often asked question on the role of India in the present and in the post-COVID19 world, he reminded the audience that India’s rapid capability response, effective supplies to those in need, strong social discipline and visible leadership have all stood out.

“As a society for whom the world was a workplace, we mounted an unprecedented repatriation operation through the Vande Bharat Mission. And as we moved to deal with the pandemic itself, our domestic priorities were harmonized with our global outlook in the Vaccine Maitri that now extends to almost 80 nations”, he reminded.

Concluding his speech on “Power Play in a Post Pandemic World”, he said that power plays will continue, but now clearly on a changed playing field. Capabilities may be different, perhaps reputations as well. But the mother of all black swans will ensure that our very manner of thinking will be different, he said. 

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