Red Lantern Analytica hosted a webinar titled “Advent of I2U2 and the Era of Minilateralism” on July 31, 2022. The expert speaker for the session was Dr. Aparaajita Pandey, Senior Research Associate at Showtime Consulting.
Dr. Aparaajita Pandey began her presentation by discussing the significance of regional organisations. She used the European Union as an example. According to her, the EU has traditionally been seen as a regional organisation par excellence for everyone and was founded after the destruction of two world wars, and its purpose was to combat aggressive nationalism and xenophobia. She elaborated on the significance of regional groups at length, stating that such organisations are significant because they provide member nations with mini-global platforms while sharing common goals.
She stated that I2U2 differs from other regional organisations in that it is a fairly tiny organisation with a highly targeted strategy. Enhanced trade, battling climate change, energy cooperation, food security, and coordination on other key common interests, including transportation and healthcare, are the primary areas of collaboration for the newly created organisation. “I2U2 is a very pointed approach. That is where the concept of minilateralism comes from” she noted. In light of the Russia-Ukraine situation, improved cooperation on energy security and food security are the two most essential areas of cooperation and collaboration for the new grouping.
Dr. Aparaajita Pandey emphasised that I2U2 enabled countries such as Israel and the UAE to collaborate on a single platform for the greater good. Such an alliance would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but it is now possible because both countries hope to benefit from mutual relations under the auspices of I2U2.
She elaborated on what India stands to gain by joining I2U2 by stating, “India will have a stronger geopolitical presence. India will have more room to conduct business, negotiate, and ensure its partnerships are robust and vibrant without actually provoking other nations’ ire. She continued, “For India, I2U2 is a geopolitically advantageous move as it gives the nation great access to West Asia and enough access to all the routes and ports of oil dispensation.” According to her, India is also an excellent destination for medical tourism, with healthcare in India becoming a priority for the other I2U2 member countries.
During the discussion, Dr. Aparaajita Pandey also discussed why a nation’s foreign policy should always be guided by its short-term and long-term national interests. As the saying goes, she stated, “All politics is domestic.” Realistically speaking, when applied to foreign policy, one must state that foreign policy should always be founded on national interest. This is illustrated by the Abraham Accords and I2U2.
Following the guest speaker’s remarks, there was a brief Q&A session. The webinar was moderated by Red Lantern Analytica’s intern, Ms. Kotha L. Kusuma. The vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Siddarth, following which the session was closed.