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Overview of 5th edition of Raisina Dialogue 2020 held in New Delhi 

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The 5th edition of the Raisina Dialogue 2020 which is India’s annual global conference on geopolitics and geo-economice was held in New Delhi from January 14-16, 2020. The dialogue was jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). Prime Minister(PM) Shri Narendra Modi and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (MEA) attended the inaugural session of the dialogue. The highlights of the dialogue in brief are as follows:India & Finland sign MoU:
On January 15, 2020 India & Finland signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in order to enhance cooperation in the field of production, procurement, research and development in defence sector.

  • MoU signing:  India’s defence secretary Ajay Kumar and and the Finnish Defence Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Jukka Juusti signed the MoU.
  • This MoU was previously under discussion since the 2018 Defence Expo (Defexpo) and has been finally formalised in the run up to Defence Expo 2020 which is to be held in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh from February 5-9, 2020.

‘Green Strategic Partnership’ with Denmark foreign minister explored: 
The Minister of External Affairs(MEA) Shri S.Jaishankar met foreign Minister of Denmark Jeppe  Sebastian Kofod and held discussions on ‘Green Strategic Partnership’ between the two countries.

20th anniversary of partnership between India and Russia:
i.The year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between India and the Russian Federation. Modi also marked 2020 as the year of implementation of key decisions between India and Russia.

Former international heads meeting: 
i.7 former heads of international govts with rich experience in governance engaged in discussion on the important challenges in the world like climate change and counter-terrorism etc.

  • The heads were Helen Clark, former PM of New Zealand; Hamid Karzai, former President of Afghanistan; Stephen Harper, former PM of Canada; Carl Bildt, former PM of Sweden;Anders Rasmussen, former PM of Denmark; Tshering Tobgay, former PM of Bhutan and Han Seung-soo, former PM of South Korea.

Modi on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue:

i.12 ministerial level delegates called on PM Modi: Ministerial level delegates from 12 countries called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at his residence on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue. The foreign ministries were from Russia, Iran, Australia, Maldives, South Africa, Estonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Uzbekistan and EU (European Union).

ii.Meet with Russian foreign minister: Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation held high level discussion with PM Modi.

  • PM Modi is to participate in the 75th anniversary of the victory day in Russia which will be held in May 2020.
  • Shri Modi will also participate in the July 2020 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) summits.

iii.Meet with Iran foreign minister: Dr. Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran met PM Modi and reiterated India’s commitment in developing strong and friendly relationship with Iran.

  • Progress in the Chabahar project which is designated as a Special Economic Zone(SEZ) was discussed. It is situated in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.

Sessions and themes in the dialogue:
Over 80 sessions took place with around 5 thematic pillars. They include

  • Nationalist impulses challenging global institutions and collective action.
  • Debate on the global trading architecture.
  • Role of technologies in determining political.
  • Economic and military power and
  • Global development agenda & state-individual relationship in the age of digital communities and cyberspace.

i.Participants: 700 international participants from over 100 countries of which 80 countries from Africa participated in the dialogue.

ii.Members present: Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth; Vladimir Norov Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and leaders from various countries and organisation were present during the dialogue.

About Observer Research Foundation (ORF):
Formation- 5 September 1990.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Chairman- Sunjoy Joshi.
President- Samir Saran.