Delhi: No Indian comes close to Shashi Tharoor in the contest for the title of “Mr International”. A former senior United Nations diplomat and minister of state for external affairs, Tharoor is the quintessential global public intellectual who packs strong ideational power and elegance in prose with a gift of the gab. This new, lengthy, non-fiction work cements his place as a cut above the rest among Indians writing on international affairs.
New Delhi: In my new book, Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century, I argue that our foreign policy must serve the interests of our domestic transformation. At the same time, much of what we are in the process of accomplishing at home - to pull our people out of poverty and to develop our nation - enables us to contribute to a better world. This is of value in itself, and it is also in our fundamental national interest.
When my new book Pax Indica was launched in New Delhi last week, a good portion of the discussion on it focused on my recommendation that the Foreign Service be strengthened, enlarged with the addition of new personnel, and reformed in significant ways. Last month, in this newspaper, I argued the case for increasing the numbers in the service. Today I’d like to turn to recruitment — what kind of diplomats do we need?
New Delhi: Faced with a massive capacity shortage in the foreign office that may be impacting Indian diplomacy, foreign secretary Ranjan Nathai said on Friday that the ministry of external affairs (MEA) would recruit over 500 officers in the next few years. Launching a new MEA-IDSA report, "India's Neighbourhood Challenges in the next Two Decades", Mathai countered the general criticism that MEA only responds to developments, and is far away from proactive diplomacy.
New York: At the outset, I would like to thank you for organizing today’s debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his report on the subject and for his incisive statement. Our thanks are also due to the USG for OCHA, the ASG for Human Rights and the Director of the ICRC for their statements. Mr. President, it has been India’s consistent view that the protection of its population is the foremost responsibility of every State. The Right to Life is the foundation of any social order and is one of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitutions of a vast number of UN member-states, including my own, from which no derogation is permissible even in times of emergency.
New Delhi: The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) - the anti-maritime crimes arm of the International Chambers of Commerce - in its 2011 piracy report documented that there were 439 reported incidents of piracy worldwide, slightly better than 2010 during which 445 such incidents were reported. The number of such incidents is an indicator of the seriousness of this issue. Nations are responding collectively and individually. While there are macro discussions on collective action, armed escorts, insurance surcharge, armed private security personnel are already deployed by the shipping sector.
New Delhi: Under humanitarian considerations, all Indians would have probably endorsed the government’s decision to provide financial relief to assist people of other countries in the face of natural disasters and calamities. We Indians are very liberal, even at the expense of our own people’s livelihood, to provide such assistance. However, the pledge made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the recently concluded G20 summit at Los Cabos, Mexico, to provide $10 billion does not qualify for this condition.
New Delhi: India is planning a change in its strategy to push for reforms and expansion of the UN Security council with an eye on bagging a permanent seat in the expanded Security Council. New Delhi has barely six months left for its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council to end. As part of its new strategy India has decided to side with the L69 Group (comprising 41 countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific) leaving aside the G4 agenda.
New Delhi: Rejecting the Opposition criticism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he did not see anything wrong in India’s $10 billion (Rs 56,000 crore) contribution to the IMF for its $430 billion bailout fund created to assist the debt-wracked eurozone tackle its financial crisis. Defending the Government’s decision, the prime minister said the contribution will be used up only if the need arose and asserted it will continue to be part of the country’s reserves.
Los Cabos: The global economic situation is deeply worrying. The economic recovery is faltering and even the fast growing emerging markets are slowing down. This calls for policy action on several fronts. Of greatest concern at present is the uncertainty affecting the Eurozone. The sovereign debt crisis and the banking crisis now on the horizon have grave implications for the health of the entire global economy. A new government in Greece is about to take office. We wish them well and are encouraged by the early statements of intent.