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Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, delivered the keynote address at the panel discussion on India in the Indo-Pacific: Pursuing Prosperity and Security, organised by Gateway House and the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, on 1 February 2022. He outlined India's vision for a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific, and the initiatives undertaken to further cooperation among nations in the region.
The Indo-Pacific has become an important part of global geopolitics in the recent past, with several great powers implementing concerted Indo-Pacific policies to create economic, social and security linkages with the region. India can use its development experience and futuristic technology to secure stability and prosperity. This compendium of essays explores the comprehensive role that India can play in the Indo-Pacific, from energy and environment, to trade, security, technology and a vibrant diaspora.
The Bay of Bengal is gaining relevance as a significant sub-region within the Indo-Pacific. Despite its importance to regional security, there is inadequate financial, physical, and energy connectivity. India must use its strategic and political pre-eminence and influence in the sub-region to pursue deeper connectivity with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and to block China's growing influence.
The Bay of Bengal is a bridge between the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and with a population of 1.4 billion, an increasingly important economic zone in its own right. India has been slow to build regional connectivity. The space has been filled by China's Belt and Road Initiative projects, which have not always been beneficial for host countries. The region may be better off pursuing digital connectivity by enabling tech startups – areas of India’s strength. This research uses maps to explore the potential for energy, transport, and financial connectivity across the Bay of Bengal.
India has had big successes during its first stint as an observer in the Arctic Council. Since then, the country has made substantial progress in its climate action pledges and developed comprehensive strategies to mitigate climate change. With its re-election, India can now offer much more to the global organisation's role in promoting environmental stability in the polar region.
Since Independence, India has been consumed by its domestic priorities. Now, with increasing integration with the world and a huge stake in global stability, it is time to focus on the global commons. India has a seat on the hightable to design and shape the rules for the governance of the global commons. In this special Independence Day Briefing, Gateway House examines India’s engagement with four global commons – technology, outer space, cyber and the oceans – and makes recommendations on how best they can be governed for our collective future.
Cyrus Rustomjee, Senior Fellow, Global Economy Program, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada, spoke to Gateway House on how the Blue Economy offers exciting opportunities to even the poorest developing countries to eradicate poverty
The first ever summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, to be held in Indonesia in March 2017, will cast light on how India and other like-minded nations can develop oceanic resources sustainably. This event offers scope for India to mould outcomes
November was a significant month for climate change negotiations: the Paris Agreement of 2015 came into effect, and at this year’s COP22, heads of state reaffirmed their commitment to a plan of action. Gateway House traces the history of climate change negotiations and CO2 emission trends over the last four and a half decades.