MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA OCTOBER 18, 2015 07.40 P.M.
When history is being created, it is very difficult to guess its importance, analyse its impact and appreciate its value. It is much easier to appreciate the importance, impact and value of the events when history is finally made and the leader is gone. Appreciation becomes more difficult in India when the achiever is Narendra Modi, who is adored by millions but deplored by few for reasons best known to them only. So many epoch-making decisions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the realm of Foreign Affairs seem to be inconsequential to these haters and because of the cacophony created by them along with media, are beyond the comprehension of even the students of current affair and contemporary history. Even scholars of foreign affairs are not very much appreciative of the endeavours of Prime Minister Modi for some of his epoch-making initiatives.
If Congress and Left-Liberal Intellectuals along with paid Media can’t fathom and accept the gigantic victorious juggernaut of Narendra Modi in India, [ May 2014 – October 2015 ] then I can understand their denial mode regarding the achievements of foreign policy because generally they are not visible on terra firma so soon.
Three initiatives in the field of foreign affairs, in my opinion, are truly historic and may be finally appreciated only after Modi is gone. They are :
1 – Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation [ FIPIC ]
2 – Indian Ocean Outreach Programme [ IOOP ]
3 – India-Africa Forum Summit [ IAFS ]
The third initiative India-Africa Forum Summit [ IAFS ] is not Prime Minister Modi’s creation. But under him is has become gigantic. If something grows to 54 from 14/15, it deserves appreciation. So I consider it to be his initiative.
The 3rd India Africa Forum Summit 2015 is going to be held in New Delhi from 26-30 October. Mandarins of the Ministry of External Affairs are spending sleepless nights to achieve the lofty goals set by Prime Minister Modi. Leaders of all the 54 countries have been personally invited and are expected to take part in the summit. Only 14 African countries participated in the 1st India-Africa Forum Summit, which was held from April 4 to April 8, 2008 in New Delhi.
The 2nd India-Africa Forum Summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from May 24 to May 25, 2011. 15 countries participated in the summit. So the 3rd edition of the India-Africa Forum Summit is the biggest ever congregation of the African Heads of State. It stands in direct contrast to the much-lauded Forum on China-Africa Cooperation & United States-Africa Leaders Summit.
This summit is only a week away, so I will write about it next week.
Before this, Narendra Modi went on the tour of India Ocean Island Nations. He toured Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles. It is known as INDIAN OCEAN OUTREACH PROGRAMME. This historic tour and foreign affair initiative was largely ignored by myopic India media and Prime Minister Modi’s haters. I will talk about this some other time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 1st initiative in foreign affairs is known as Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation [FIPIC]. FIPIC is also ignored by the students and scholars of foreign affairs alike. They think that it is useless exercise of Prime Minister Modi in self-promotion.
FIPIC is a multinational grouping developed in 2014 by Prime Minister Modi for cooperation between India and 14 Pacific Islands nations which include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. All Head of state/head of government of the above countries met in Suva, Fiji in November 2014 for the first time where the annual summit was conceptualised by Prime Minister Modi.
Flag of the 14 member nations :
- Micronesia (Suspended sine die)
1st FIPIC Summit – Suva, Fiji ============================
Prime Minister of India, PM Narendra Modi chose to visit Fiji soon after democracy was re-established in the island country after 8 years. There, apart from bilateral meeting, he also met heads of state/government from 14 pacific island states to enhance India’s engagement in the region and proposed a ‘Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation’ (FIPIC) be held on a regular basis. He conveyed India’s keenness to work closely with Pacific Island nations to advance their development priorities in this regard a number of measures to strengthen India’s partnership in the region were proposed. which include :
1- Setting up of a ‘special fund of $1 million’ for adapting climate change vis-a-vis clean energy,
2- Establishing a ‘trade office’ in India,
3- ‘Pan Pacific Islands e-network’ to close the physical distance between the islands by improving digital connectivity,
4- Extending visa on arrival at Indian airports for all the fourteen Pacific Island countries,
5- ‘Space cooperation’ in space technology applications for improving the quality of life of the islands,
6- ‘Training to diplomats’ from Pacific Island countries to increase mutual understanding.
2nd FIPIC Summit – Jaipur, India
One of the key outcome of the first summit in Suva, Fiji was that top leadership of both India and Pacific Islands should meet at a regular interval and an annual summit should be instituted in this regard. Prime Minister Modi invited all the 14 Pacific Islands nations head of states/head of government to India for the next rounds of talks in 2015. Jaipur, known as Pink city, was selected to host the main summit on 21 August 2015.
As per of India’s extended Act East policy, the South Asian country is actively promoting good relations with smaller islands nations of the South Pacific, along with heavyweights in the region, and cooperating on multiple issues which include blue economy (ocean based economy), oil and natural gas, mining, IT, health care, fishing and marine research. Space collaboration with Pacific countries are of vital for India as they provide ISRO, India’s space administration, an eye to monitor launch of their rockets.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee welcomed all the visiting dignitaries at Rastrapati Bhavan on 20 August 2015 following which leaders went to Agra, on their way to Jaipur the summit venue, for a tour of Taj Mahal.
Indian media and Prime Minister Modi haters ignored Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation [ FIPIC ]. But not our arch-rival China. It was quite significant to see Chinese President Xi Jinping following Modi’s trail visited Fiji on 21 November (just 2 days after Prime Minister Modi’s trip) to meet a similar gathering of leaders indicating a struggle for influence between the two Asian giants in the island countries of south pacific. If you look at the location of FIPIC countries, and if you not blind by Narendra Modi hate, you can gauge its importance. All the FIPIC countries are located at the triangle of Asia, Australia and America continents. They are close to the west coast of USA, almost adjacent to Australia and New Zealand. They are south of China and Japan and East of Vietnam. Modi haters should know that this region is called by China as SOUTH CHINA SEA, the current flash point of China’s sea hegemony. With its presence there, India can monitor China and can be of some help to friendly countries like Japan and Vietnam. By being there, India can also take care of its strategic economic interests in the PACIFIC SEA REGION.
Indian National Congress has developed unfathomable allergy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I challenge them to cite initiatives taken by them in the arena of foreign affairs. Barring now moribund NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT [ started by the 1st Prime Minister of India Late Jawaharlal Nehru ] , there is no such initiative in sight.
On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I congratulate my Prime Minister Narendra Modi for such epoch-making but unsung initiative in the field of foreign policy.
[ Historical facts, data and other material about Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation [ FIPIC ] / Indian Ocean Outreach Programme [ IOOP ] & India-Africa Forum Summit [ IAFS ] have been taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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