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Ukraine Peace Summit

Discover why India chose to abstain from endorsing the final communique at the Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland. Learn about India’s balanced diplomatic approach, emphasizing proposals acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine for lasting peace, and its role as a potential mediator in the ongoing conflict.

The refusal of India to sign the final communique of the Ukraine Peace Summit held in Switzerland on June 16 evinced enormous international interest and discussion. More than 80 countries gathered at Burgenstock for the summit to consider and endorse Ukraine’s peace formula based on the UN charter and resolutions for multiplicity towards ensuring Ukraine’s territorial integrity. But India joined six other countries in deciding not to associate with the final document. India took this stand on the premise that it is only such proposals-those acceptable both to Russia and Ukraine-that can really open the doors to permanent peace.

Balanced Diplomacy Called For

This is clearly enunciated by none other than India’s Ministry of External Affairs secretary, Pavan Kapoor: “Our participation in the summit and continued engagement with all stakeholders is with a view to understanding different perspectives, approaches and options to find a way forward for a sustainable resolution of the conflict. In our view, only those options acceptable to both parties can lead to abiding peace.”.

This standpoint exemplifies India’s continuing policy of neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Since the invasion began in February 2022, India has assiduously abstained from voting on resolutions critical of Russia in international forums—the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Human Rights Council.

Inclusive Peace Framework

The communiqué released at the end of the summit, which India did not sign, reiterated Ukraine’s integrity and was modeled around Ukraine’s proposal for peace. Whereas this stance gained large support from most nations, it did little to relate to the views by Russia, which was not invited to the summit. There has been word by Swiss officials that Russia may take part in future conferences as the world works towards writing a detailed roadmap leading to the establishment of peace.

The decision of India fits within the broader Indian diplomatic strategy of facilitating a resolution through sincere and practical engagement between the conflicting parties. This underlines what India does in the role of a possible mediator, given its neutral stance and relationship with Russia and Ukraine. Involvement by the Global South and BRICS

The organizers of the summit had invited some leading nations of the Global South and BRICS, hoping for their probable role in bridging the gulf between Russia and the Western bloc on the Ukraine issue. Other countries that did not sign the communique included Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, and the UAE. Brazil only had observer status, aside from China, which did not participate.

According to the Swiss Ambassador to India, Ralf Heckner, the participation from India was useful despite New Delhi not signing the final document. “We had half of the world gathered in this conference, and we had a quarter of the world here represented by their head of state or head of government.

India’s Diplomatic Engagements”

This was further evident with regard to India’s consistent policy of neutrality through its participation in earlier related meetings, such as the NSA level meeting in Jeddah during August 2023, and the Deputy NSA level meeting in Davos during January 2023. These participation offers underline India’s commitment towards a peaceful resolution through a path of dialogue and diplomacy.

At the G-7 outreach summit in Italy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The PM rejected the invitation to the Switzerland Summit but engaged with other world leaders; thus, things were carried forward diplomatically.

The very fact that India abstained from voting on the Ukraine Peace Summit’s final communique reaffirmed its balanced diplomatic approach and underlined the point that any settlement would have to be acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine. By doing this, India assumes a Mexican role of facilitating dialogue and becomes a potential mediator to the present peace efforts. With the crisis still building, India will play a very important role in the global political scene with regard to propagating a balanced peace framework that is inclusive.

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