Idea Fest: Get ready for Indian version of ‘Shangri-La Dialogue’

Swaraj Raisina

As India continues to grow on the global stage,  it is all set to host an international conclave on geopolitics and geo-economics from March 1-3. The event is organised by India’s External Affairs Ministry (EAM) and leading Indian think tank,  Observer Research Foundation (ORF).  The flagship conference is titled Raisina Dialogue 2016.

The conference seeks to explore and examine the prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world.   The Raisina Dialogue will have more than 450 participants from around 40 countries and will focus on the theme of ‘Asia: Regional and Global Connectivity’. According to the EAM, the dialogue will enable it to reach out to a wider international multidisciplinary audience.

The conference will be held on the lines similar to the famous Shangri-La dialogue, a “Track One” inter-governmental security forum held annually by an independent think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore. The event is attended by defence ministers, permanent heads of ministries and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific states.

Speaking about the Raisina dialogue, ORF in its agenda  paper said: “The 2016  conclave will focus on Asia’s physical, economic, human and digital connectivity and will attempt to discover opportunities and challenges for the region to manage its common spaces, as well as the global partnerships needed to develop common pathways in this century.”
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar will be joined by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, former Seychelles President James Mancham and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali at the inaugural dialogue on March 1.

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