21st Asian Security Conference Organised by MP-IDSA

March 28, 2023

New Delhi: The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses is organizing the 21st Asian Security Conference on ‘Towards Reformed Multilateralism in the Era of Indo-Pacific’ on 28-29 March 2023. Following the Introductory Address by Amb Sujan R. Chinoy, Director General, Manohar Parrikar IDSA and Chair of Think-20 (India's G20 Presidency), the G20 Sherpa, Shri Amitabh Kant delivered the Inaugural Address and Shri Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs gave the Special Remarks on day one of the Conference.

Amb Sujan R. Chinoy in his Introductory Address said that in Asia’s multipolarity lies the hope for multipolarity at the global level. He said that India’s G20 presidency has many firsts. For the first time, it is being taken to the masses and four developing countries are hosting it back to back— last year it was Indonesia and this year it is India. Over the next two years Brazil and South Africa are going to host it.

Calling the present era, an era of poly crises, when the world is undergoing a fundamental transformation, he said that all aspects of globalization are under stress, be it trade, technology, finance, movement of human resources, energy or food. He raised the apprehensions that many developed nations might face recession at a time when the impact of Covid 19 and Russia Ukraine war has exacerbated regional economic challenges. In such a context, hedging and multi-alignment are the order of the day. He expressed his optimism about India becoming a developed country by the centenary year of its independence riding on its resilient economy and fast growth rate. Talking about the Indo Pacific, he said that it was emerging as a more transparent and inclusive construct and India would favour an inclusive and rule-based order in the region.

Turning to the issue of multilateral institutions, he said that the existing ones were both unrepresentative and ineffective and there was a crying need for reforming them. India, he said, has been an advocate of reformed multilateralism, which included reform of the United Nations. He said that the G20 was a fairly representative body which has a genuine opportunity to work with the present system, yet provide an opportunity for averting post-Ukraine geopolitical gridlocks and pitch for reform, rather than become “an eco-chamber for existing infirmities in multilateralism”. India, he said, would like to infuse new hope based on its civilizational ethos with emphasis on peace and development and lead G20 towards a value-based future.

In his Inaugural Address, the G20 Sherpa, Shri Amitabh Kant spoke about the era of multi-dimensional crises involving food, fuel, fertilizer, Bretton Woods Institutions, Voices of Global South Summit, growing importance of the Indo Pacific and the importance of Southeast Asia in it.

Shri Kant said India has assumed the G20 presidency at a time when the world faces a series of challenges. While every challenge is an opportunity, India’s priority for the G20 will be to drive digital transformation and to go green, he emphasised. He said that India’s presidency will seek to advocate oneness in line with the theme of ‘One Earth One Family One Future’ and challenges confronting the global community can only be solved through collective action. The focus, he underlined, should be on the Global South or developing countries, whose needs must be fulfilled at all costs. The challenges that world faces today can be solved only by working together through hope, harmony and healing and one’s first concern should be towards those whose need is greatest, he said.

Outlining India’s priorities, Shri Kant said that the country’s G20 presidency will seek to advocate oneness in line with the theme of ‘One Earth One Family One Future’, and reflect not just the aspirations of G20 partners, but also of the Global South, whose voice is often unheard.

Also speaking on the occasion was Shri Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, who highlighted the economic aspect of G20. In his Special Remarks he highlighted the role of regional groupings such as BRICS SCO and BIMSTEC, as well as the impact of AI and energy transition and emerging multilateralism within G20. He stressed the need for India to build deeper economic integration and strengthen partnerships with African countries.

The Asian Security Conference is the flagship event of MP-IDSA. This year the Conference has been infused with the theme of G20 process. Representatives from nearly 30 countries with as many Indian speakers are participating in the conference, making it one of the largest events in the history of the Institute.