India calls for coordination on global issues with Caribbean, Latin American countries

India LAC

India has called for coordination on global issues such as international terrorism, climate change and UN Security Council reform with Caribbean and Latin American countries. With many multilateral summits having tangible outcomes on global issues in 2015, India has been seeking support from other countries to coordinate on global issues. India has a major stake in few issues such as UNSC reforms yet it has also lent support to other global issues.

Meeting with two separate regional blocs, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the region, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought support from the Latin American countries to coordinate on global issues on different international platforms. Ms Swaraj attended the India-CELAC quartet ministerial meeting and hosted the India-CARICOM foreign ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The CARICOM is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and aims to promote economic integration and cooperation among the members. The CELAC is a regional bloc of 33 Latin American and Caribbean states.

Speaking about similar concerns and common aspirations for accelerated growth and development along with eradication of poverty Ms Swaraj touched upon India offering assistance to Caribbean countries in capacity building, IT, agriculture, pharma, SMEs, and many other areas. She called for partnership with CARICOM on text-based negotiations for UN Security Council reform. The UN General Assembly had by consensus approved for text-based negotiations to reform the Security Council. The G-4 countries, which include India, Japan, Brazil, Germany, are all aspirants for a permanent membership in a reformed Security Council.

Attending the India-CELAC Quartet Ministerial Meeting, Ms Swaraj spoke about the two-way trade between India and CELAC, which is USD 46 billion. “We should boost cooperation in energy, science and technology, health care, agro chemicals,” she said at the meeting. India’s trade with Latin America has the potential to grow. A bulk of India’s trade in Latin America is with Brazil. India’s trade with many Latin American countries is not very significant.

With important events taking place in 2015 in multilateral foras such as the UN adoption of Sustainable Development Goals, the climate change Conference of Parties (COP)-21 conference in Paris where the world is looking to seal a deal on climate change, it comes as no surprise that India is seeking support and collaboration from different countries in the world and Latin America is an important region that India can no longer afford to ignore. Ms Swaraj also had a one to one meeting with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez.

The growing importance for collaboration with Latin American countries is evident with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting leaders from the region on the sidelines of multilateral summits. His most recent meeting was with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto on the sidelines of the 70th anniversary of the UNGA session on September 28 in New York.