Raisina Dialogue Highlights India’s Global Balancing Act

India has arrived: This was the subtle if clear message from the recently concluded Raisina Dialogue hosted by the Indian External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi, held immediately after the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting. A stellar lineup of speakers, panelists, and participants included Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, the foreign ministers of the four Quad states (Australia, India, Japan, and the United States), former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the foreign ministers of Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, and South Africa (among others). 

In many ways, Raisina was more diverse and more representative of the world at large than the Munich Security Conference held earlier in January.

The diversity also extended to the themes covered in its approximately 50 panels (many in parallel sessions) covering the Quad and Asian security, food security, counterterrorism, liberalism and democracy, U.S. political divides, the state of the Middle East, the debt crisis, various aspects of technology in international relations, climate change, and other issues. Two overarching topics, however, defined the event – multilateralism and the concerns of the Global South, and countering China in Asia and elsewhere, with the Ukraine war cropping up in several of the discussions.

The first theme, a focus on the Global South, should not be surprising. India is this year’s chair of the G-20, practically the only viable multilateral forum still functional after the paralysis of the U.N. Security Council in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. New Delhi has made it clear that it plans to highlight the priorities of the Global South during its tenure as chair. This means raising its own voice, but also those of African, Latin American, and developing Asian states. India has a history of speaking for the Global South ever since independence, as founder-member of the Nonaligned Movement.

Read the full piece in The Diplomat.