The Multilateralist

India and the Non-Aligned Movement

I have a piece on the FP mainpage arguing that the steady accretion of global influence by key Non-Aligned Movement players poses a long-term challenge for the movement. How long will coming powers like India and Indonesia find the NAM identity useful?  This post at the Wall Street Journal‘s IndiaRealTime blog makes clear that the ...

I have a piece on the FP mainpage arguing that the steady accretion of global influence by key Non-Aligned Movement players poses a long-term challenge for the movement. How long will coming powers like India and Indonesia find the NAM identity useful?  This post at the Wall Street Journal‘s IndiaRealTime blog makes clear that the Tehran summit has created some headaches for Indian diplomats:

The Prime Minister’s trip has placed New Delhi’s ties with Tehran under fresh scrutiny. On Wednesday, Mr. Singh is set to meet the Islamic Republic’s top rulers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the first meetings of this level since 2001.

Mr. Singh is expected to try to advance India’s energy and security interests by developing closer ties, but doing so without making the U.S. uncomfortable will be a challenge.

“India is not going to abandon Iran just because the U.S. wants it to,” says C. Raja Mohan, a fellow at New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation. “But it doesn’t mean it will pick a fight with the U.S. either.”

Former Indian foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal argues here that, on balance, the NAM still serves Indian interests:

While extracting whatever is possible from it, India should treat its NAM membership as merely one component of its international positioning. While being clear sighted about NAM’s limitations, for India it is nonetheless diplomatically useful to mobilise the movement to counter onesided, inequitable western prescriptions on key issues of trade, development, intellectual property rights, technology, environment, climate change, energy etc, and build pressure for consensus solutions.

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