Raisina Dialogue to kick off with panel of former world leaders on January 14, PM Modi to attend

12 Foreign Ministers and many heads of State to take part

Updated - January 13, 2020 10:41 pm IST

Published - January 13, 2020 10:27 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo: PTI

At least 12 Foreign Ministers including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, as well as seven former heads of state and government will attend the Ministry of External Affairs’ “ Raisina Dialogue ” jointly organised with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) that begins on January 14 in Delhi.

Also attending are the Afghan National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamidullah Mohib and the U.S. Deputy NSA Matthew Pottinger.

India’s contribution

“The Dialogue has been India’s contribution to global efforts to discover solutions, identify opportunities and provide stability to a century that has witnessed an eventful two decades,” said an MEA statement, explaining the significance of the annual conference.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the inaugural session where former leaders, including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former Prime Minister’s Helen Clark of New Zealand, Stephen Harper of Canada, Carl Bildt of Sweden, Anders Rasmussen of Denmark, Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan and Han Seung-soo of South Korea, will discuss future global issues.

The title of the Raisina Dialogue this year is “Navigating the Alpha Century”.

Mr. Modi will also host a meeting of all the visiting Foreign Ministers together.

The conference, which is in its fifth year, will host 700 participants from more than 100 countries, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said, adding that at least 40% of the speakers will be women.

Australian PM skips

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was due to give the inaugural keynote address had to pull out due to the fire crisis in Australia, which means that unlike previous versions of the conference, this year will have no sitting head of government or state attend.

Bangladesh Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam cancelled his participation at the last minute, but Information Minister Mohammad H. Mahmud is outlooked to attend the conference.

Another key feature of the event, a session on the Indo-Pacific that includes military or naval commanders from the “Quadrilateral or Quad”, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, will also have a French Defence official on the panel this year.

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