NEW DELHI: “Global institutions were under severe stress even before COVID, some were ineffectual, some ineffective. You can call it a comorbidity,” says Suresh Prabhu, India’s Sherpa to the G-20 and G-7, adding, now during the pandemic “we’re facing a critical, unprecedented situation”. The world “needs strong institutions and strong leadership, which is also participative,” he said, pointing out that “before vaccines, we were sending medicines, formulations not available even in the U.S. and EU,” adding, the world has “recognised India’s capabilities to do something so important, so high-tech, so critical, which so-called developed countries are not able to do. That shows how India is growing and acquiring a new role in world affairs.”
“We are fighting China strongly on bilateral issues, border issues, trade and other issues and working with those countries who share that vision,” said Prabhu, adding: “We have to accept the reality of the world as it is today. We also have to realise that we live in a world which has so many different components, different players. So, we work with that in different forums. But the common denominator in all this—our national interest is more important than anything else. We try to promote national interest through various forums. Participating in multilateral forums where China also may be present is also protecting India’s own interests.”
In this exclusive chat with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, Suresh Prabhu also discussed what India brings to the G-20 and G-7 tables, what it hopes to bring back from these fora, world trade and the reform of the WTO, “the effective platform that the World Economic Forum” has become, India’s lead against terror financing at the G-20 and Financial Action Task Force and New Delhi’s climate change commitments and goals.