Changing Contours of International Relations: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 21 Mar , 2024

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, spreading tentacles of  trans-national terrorism  and predatory assertiveness of Chinese across the globe have created serious problems for international security. While world is still grappling with the deadly spikes of Islamic fundamentalist terror, the issue of the fast degradation of the environment is taking the forefront of global politics.

The concern for climate change policy can very well be visualized by the recent decision of the Administrative Court in France to impose a penalty of approximately 19.78 million Euro failing to control level of pollution in country. On the other hand, Germany has taken numerous steps to deal with emerging climate challenges. The UK has recently raised its expenditure on environmental protection from 13 Billion British Pounds to 13.9 Billion British Pounds during last two years. The issue of environmental protection is gradually emerging as the most crucial one as it has adverse impact on health of Planet Earth itself. The European Environmental Agency and the WHO have been raising the concern in post Kyoto Protocol Climate Change era. There have been several issues such as the over seven billion human population with concentration into metropolises amd megalopolis of very high density of habitation and increasing dependence of nations on fossil fuels, there are also increasing attempts to phase out dependency on nuclear power plants to produce electricity particularly by European countries.

Attempts such as strict production regulations, waste disposal management system and reduction in heavy metals, pesticides and control management of waste medical products have proved effective in recent years. There have been several persisting domestic concerns of Asian countries such as environmental  degradation, industrial waste and chemical hazardous leading to danger for human lives. The Asian countries have held made many efforts to overcome these issues. They have worked  towards economic negotiations for development between countries have created platform for negotiations in trade, economic partnership issues related to investment protection and brought about contiguity among the member countries. Besides, there are subtle efforts for taking on myriad concerns and challenges faced in establishing joint collaborations in Asia, Pacific and African region.

This certainly exhibits high level insight and understanding of both sides.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the EU President Ursula Von Der Leyen had shown tremendous foresight  and remarkable vision in recent years  and made  relentless efforts for creating myriad channels of negotiations , trade, global security and a fresh pathway towards inclusive democratization of world politics. Their approach has set out a very clear way forward by getting fully involved in new techniques and developing challenging strategies to meet the need of  all the partners.

The issue that remains vital is to bring so many countries to a negotiating table for working out a strategy of relaxing Vaccines related Trade Aspects of Intellectual property Rights to help saving maximum lives at the time of global health emergency. The increasing support and agreement with regard to limiting climate change issues and opening up gateways for renewable energy and development in technological knowhow along with channelizing the sources of power generation and creating a mechanism to withstand any sudden threat posed by BRI (Belt and Road Initiatives) augur well for peace and prosperity of all the member countries.

The 2019 JapanEU deal was an effort in this direction. There has always been a series of extremely good relationship between India and the EU with the trade share having crossed a decent landmark during last half a decade which was way more than expected. During the last few years or so there has been a closerties particularly with Germany, Italy, Netherland having been the biggest importers from India and Germany, France and Belgium the largest exporters of goods. The recent efforts would further boost and cement their ties with each other and create a genuine environment for stabilizing economic growth (along with ensuring free flow of goods and services) strategic security, prosperity, stability and combating sudden challenges  arisingdue to climate change .

Foreign relations are operated through an efficient diplomacy and diplomacy is all about right gestures and cooperation and coordination at the time of crisis. The ever friendly and forthcoming gestures of Prime Ministers of Belgium, Spain and Frence appreciating the efforts of India in the fight against World Pandemic of worst kind speaks volume about the intimate ties between India and the EU. In Broad Based Trade and Investment in past brought both sides on a common platform despite having not arrived at conclusion on some vital issues of market access and foreign Direct Investment for free trade. There has been a contiguity with regard to nuclear energy and sustainable development concerning environmental issues.

Further negotiation may lead to creation of a strategic mechanism to provide a shield against terrorism, international crime, drug dealing, smuggling and cyber threat unleashed by non -state actors. This may also accelerate maritime friendly ties and bolster up security around Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific areas which have lately become areas of concern. Hence, a collaborative partnership among the nations through equity and access to those who are in need at the time of unprecedented crisis may show the level of insight in empowering and motivating people across the board towards extending helping hand and saving lives. Besides, the pursuit towards promotion of their well beings would lead to tremendous effort towards enhancement of overall development scenario in Europe and India.The sum and substance of the idea is to ensure that the New structural Thinking and orientation changes through a fresh perspective and a framework for key demands while maintaining a synergy among various stakeholders to negotiate even on the issues of different perspectives.        

While these are defining moments for entire humanity yet the increasing tendency of actors in International relations to cluster around the powerful one in the system has proved Raymond Aron observation correct for a long time. (Aron once conceded that “The two most typical models are called multipolar and bipolar: either the chief actors, whose forces are not too unequal, are relatively numerous, or, on the contrary, two actors dominate their rivals to such a degree that both become the centre of a coalition and the secondary actors are obliged to situate themselves in relation to the two blocs,’ thus joining one or another, unless they have the opportunity to abstain. Intermediary models are possible, depending on the number of chief actors and the degree of equality or inequality of forces among the chief actors. These are changing times and many changes have occurred in International relations recently. Sharing and working on a common strategic vision and a combined approach to ensure mutual economic prosperity and approaching through a multi-layered and multilateral strategy if situation demands is going to dominate the world order in the coming days. What is required is to develop a fresh perspective for a more matured reliance on international cooperation between nations to enunciate a new strategy of retaliation, threatening a severe response to any attempt of destabilizing the order.

There is a strong need to generate development funds related to integrated  education, medicines, science, technology and huge aggrandizement with regard to research in the field of biotechnology among various nations across the globe. Now even smaller countries are getting exposed to the nuances of the  domestic socio-economic, political and international issues. Therefore, during last few years or so there have been  Constant attempts  by nations to  upgrade, innovate and evolve new methods to have economic, strategic and cultural integration and a common shield to encounter overambitious plans of any actor in IR.)

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Dr Sudhir Hindwan

is Chandigarh based professor of Political Science and an expert on strategic affairs.

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