India and ASEAN, India՚s Role, Impediments to Cooperation and Commonwealth

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India and ASEAN


Common Concerns

  • Terrorism
  • Economic Development and poverty mitigation
  • Human Development
  • Regional security
  • Sustainable development

Steps Taken

SAARC Development goals

India՚s Role

  • Largest country in the region
  • Shares borders with all SAARC nations (except Afghanistan)

Impediments to Cooperation

  • India-Pak rivalry
  • India being seen as playing the role of big brother in the region

Steps Forward

  • Countries should have confidence and trust in each other
  • They should acknowledge the common challenges faced by the countries of the region.


  • Recent: the issue of appointing a rights commissioner for the Commonwealth
  • The proposal had come from the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) , an 11-member non-governmental team commissioned to suggest ways to keep the Commonwealth relevant in a changing world.
  • The commissioner would have the power to investigate rights abuses, develop early-warning strategies and develop capacity-building measures to prevent abuses
  • India has opposed the proposal on the grounds that it would duplicate the work of the UN, risk international intervention on many issues that should be handled domestically and would cost too much.
  • The states have however agreed to strengthen the existing Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) , empowering it to act when a country is veering off course in terms of a democratic values and the rule of law, than waiting until a country has gone to grossly unacceptable state and leaders only having options of suspension or expulsion in front of them.


IBSA Conference in Oct 2011: Tshwane Declaration adopted.

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