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India And Germany: Coming Together For A Multipolar World – Analysis

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The end of bipolarity after the disintegration of the erstwhile Soviet Union did not result in a multipolar world, instead it resulted in a US dominated unipolar world stumbling under its hegemonistic policies of unilateralism both at the political and economic levels. However, since the mid 1990s, the concept of multipolarity has gained prominence all over the world but true success is yet to come.

Relations between India and Germany began to expand and changed rapidly after the end of the cold war and in response to India’s emerging stature in the new world order. Both countries share multi-faceted relationship spanning political, economic, defence, culture, science and technology, strategic and security realms. India and Germany understand the importance of such partnership leading to the signing of ‘Agenda for German-Indian Partnership in the 21st Century’ which finally created a formal framework for the future relations between the two countries. The agenda spelt out new fields of cooperation to address global challenges and work towards the mutual fulfillment of each other’s interests. The ten-point agreement became the origin and point of reference of all future agreements between India and Germany. However, promotion of multipolarity has been one of the main pillars of this special strategic partnership between India and Germany. Their main argument is that multipolarity rather than unipolarity would hold the key to dealing with the multilateral problems facing the world.

Germany - India Relations
Germany - India Relations

The special partnership between India and Germany is growing based on shared principles, common perceptions and interests. India and Germany share and promote universal values of democracy, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. They share a vision of peace, security and common opportunity in global affairs. They have shared interests in overcoming and finding solutions to key global challenges such as climate change, energy security, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, and international terrorism. Co-operation will be further enhanced on these issues, both bilaterally regionally and in international fora.

Besides, India and Germany also share the interest of preventing the emergence of the unipolar world. Both countries have a common stake in the quest for a multi-polar world. Being a member of G-4 countries, both countries have committed together for more power centers and are against the bipolar structure that existed during the cold war period. Both have protested against the U.S. or any super power dominance in the world. The demand for multilateralism by both the countries assumes significance when U.S. has been accused of undertaking unilateral decisions on world affairs. They are of the view that multipolar world can ensure world peace, security and stability rather than unnecessarily drawing countries into war caused by the ambitions of the bloc leaders. Since the current Security Council reflects the geo-political realities of World War II. India and Germany recognize that a strengthened multilateral system, including a reformed UN Security Council that would reflect the realities of the 21st century and enhances global cooperation and security. Both sides will continue their close cooperation bilaterally and in the framework of the G4 for the strengthening of the multilateral system and towards early realisation of reform of the United Nations, including the expansion of the UN Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. India and Germany reaffirmed their firm support for each others’ candidature for permanent membership on an expanded UNSC.

In the current debate on reforming the United Nations, India has repeatedly underlined the urgency of restructuring global institutions — both political and economic — to reflect the new realities on the ground. In particular, the developing world must find its due representation among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. India continues to work with likeminded nations for an equitable, multi-polar world order, which takes into account the legitimate aspirations of developing countries. India by closely engaging with all the major powers of the world is indirectly seeking to ensure multipolar world order. India’s partnership with the major powers is better than ever before in the past. This way, India sends a clear message to the international community that there is a need for all countries to comply with the development trends towards world multipolarisation, based on mutual respect and equality.

All the four G-4 countries deserve to be a permanent member of the UNSC. This is based on the fact that Brazil being the largest country in size, population and economic power in South America, while India was the world’s second largest country in terms of population and the third largest contributor of troops to UN missions. Moreover, it is also the founding member of the UN. Germany and Japan are not only two of the largest economies of the world, but also the largest donors to the UN.

India’s emergence as a globalising nation is at last unlocking its vast capacity as a partner to other countries in trade, defence and coping with transnational challenges. This comprehensive engagement with all the major powers of the international system underlines India’s new strengths and reveals the broad set of concerns that animate Indian foreign policy at the present juncture. India’s interaction with the world leaders also underlines some potentially difficult issues that are beginning to dominate Delhi’s diplomatic agenda. New Delhi’s challenges before this comprehensive engagement are not only just maintaining a balance but also about how best it is able to attain its objectives set out for itself. However, it needs to redefine its role in consonance with increasing weight in the international system and should be ready to perform the responsibilities that come with it.

India and Germany reaffirm their commitments to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership for the benefit of both their peoples and the international community based on universal values of democracy and pluralism. A stronger partnership between India and Germany, two major democracies in Asia and Europe, acting in concert in international institutions, enhances global cooperation and security. Both sides stressed the commitment to work towards promoting international peace, stability and security, development and the eradication of poverty.


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Dr. Mohammad Samir Hussain

Dr. Mohammad Samir Hussain is a Research Associate in the Yashwantrao Chavan National Centre of International Security and Defence Analysis, University of Pune, Pune. He can be reached at [email protected]

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