India’s Priorities in Foreign Policy in 21st Century

The post-Cold War situation has thrown up many new challenges for the Indian foreign policy. India is engaging with all other responsible nations to face new challenges. However, Indian foreign policy’s framework of cooperation remains more or less same in this post-Cold War era. India remains committed to the policy of non-alignment, as its basic goal has been to defend country’s independence and sovereignty and to prevent world politics on the terms of military alliances. Since India’s basic policy of opposing hegemony in world politics and entering into military alliances against other countries has not changed, the non- alignment is still relevant for its foreign policy. Failure of Big-5, i.e. nuclearised states, to come up with effective and time bound measures for nuclear disarmament compelled India to opt for nuclearization taking into account its long term security challenges. However, India plays a responsible role as a nuclear weapon state as it has announced its ‘No-First Use’ policy along with demand for comprehensive and universal disarmament measures. India advocates nuclear confidence building measures with Pakistan and China to avoid nuclear mishap, and thus engages these countries in constructive dialogues. India extended hand of friendship towards the United States, European Union and Israel to balance its foreign policy in post-Cold War era and to make it resonate with its domestic economic policy. It has also expedited efforts to reach out to South East Asian, African and Latin American nations to fill the vacuum occurred due to demise of the mighty Soviet Union. India has opposed continuation of uni-polar world and joined hands with Russia, Brazil, China and South Africa to ensure emergence of multi-polar world. The BRICS and G-20 have become important tools of India’s foreign policy in the new era, even though it has not abandoned time tested platforms of NAM and the United Nations. India is advocating reforms in the United Nations and IMF-World bank structures to make it more democratic and reflective of today’s international politics. India seeks to address new challenges of terrorism and global warming in cooperation with all the countries and hence whole-heartedly participating in all the international deliberations on this issue. Ultimate goal of India’s foreign policy to defend its independent and sovereignty, to seek friendly relations with all the countries and to promote peaceful just international order remain the same over last 60 years.

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