Lazy eyes listen
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Foreign Minister, has criticised the current world order’s “geopolitical divide.” During a visit to New York for the UN General Assembly, the ambassador said that countries in “positions of influence” are guilty of double standards and are fighting requests to change global institutions from impoverished countries.
“Those in positions of influence, most notably in the UN Security Council, are resisting the pressure to change.” Those that are economically dominant now are leveraging their manufacturing skills, and those with institutional or historical influence have weaponized many of those capacities as well,” the minister explained.
“They’ll all say the right things, but the reality is that it’s still a world of double standards,” Jaishankar remarked, using the Covid-19 epidemic as an example.
“In the name of the market a lot of things are done, like in the name of freedom a lot of things are done,” said the minister. Jaishankar underlined the changes that the Global South wishes to see, such as greater respect for its heritage, custom, music, literature, and way of life.
The Indian ambassador made the statements at a ministerial session themed ‘UN for Global South: Delivering for Development’ over the weekend. The event was presented by the Observer Research Foundation, a prominent Indian think tank, in partnership with New Delhi’s Permanent Mission.
Debt, progress on sustainable development goals (SDGs), climate action, digital access, nutrition, and gender inequality are the top issues “troubling the world,” according to Jaishankar. However, he said that “these subjects were driven out of the global conversations,” in part because of Covid-19 and the attention on Ukraine.
According to the foreign minister, India’s G20 chairmanship, which culminated in the leaders’ summit in New Delhi earlier this month, was “challenging” because it occurred amid “a very sharp” East-West polarisation and a deep North-South division.
In the midst of a “transition,” India expects the Global South to put “more and more pressure on the international system,” according to Jaishankar. He emphasised the importance of “cultural balancing,” which he defined as “recognising the diversity of the world, respecting the diversity of the world, and giving other cultures and traditions their due respect.” The Global North, according to Jaishankar, is more than just a geographical term; it also comprises countries that are “very resistant to change.”
Jaishankar’s travel to New York coincides with India’s diplomatic spat with Canada. According to Ottawa, “agents of the Indian government” may have been involved in the June assassination of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. India had accused Nijjar, 45, of terrorist activity.