Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said it is vital to recognise that the world is going through a period of “major transition” where many of the assumptions that guided our thinking in the past are “no longer valid”. He said that the evolving world order has no place for rigid positions and alliances.”Rigidity of positions and alliances no longer hold and we ourselves are increasingly one of the poles. The dichotomy between bilateral and multilateral must also accommodate the reality of the need for the plurilateral,” he said. “This calls for a nimbler and more open-minded approach to international politics where there are less fixed points and more flexible combinations. The foreign secretary was addressing the launch of an ‘Ambassadors’ Club’, an initiative by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, via video-conference.
The trade chamber said the club has been envisaged as an open-ended discussion forum involving diplomats and business houses. Jaishankar touched upon this aspect in his speech, saying the conduct of diplomacy is increasingly dependent on economic capabilities and their effective deployment while contending that the “growing stature” of India is an outcome of its economic progress. “A real partnership between diplomacy and business is important not only for the benefits to the economy but also in enhancing access and building brand abroad,” he said. He said a new set of global issues is shaping the world and building of “new connectivity” in Asia, “its principles and ownership”, was one such factor that will dominate Asia. He identified climate change, and terror, which he said is still approached in many quarters in an “opportunistic manner”, as two other key factors.