Stability in Asia
Russia, India and China
held the Ninth trilateral meeting at Foreign Ministers level in
Bangalore, India last Tuesday. These three countries account for
20 percent of the world's land mass and 39 percent of the world
population. Together with Brazil they constitute the BRIC
nations, the most formidable emerging power bloc in the world
Compared to the situation several years ago when India and
China, China and Russia exchanged hostilities at various levels,
the very fact of their coming together is significant. During
the last decade their relations have improved. All of them are
also members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a
Eurasian group that is of strategic importance to world peace.
The three countries, also known as RIC, have stressed the
significance of their unity for regional and world peace. In a
joint statement issued after the meeting, the three countries,
they called for international cooperation in the fight against
terrorism, especially in Afghanistan. They resolved to jointly
fight terrorism and narcotic trafficking. They also called upon
the United Nations member states to campaign for a UN Convention
In the backdrop of attempts by powerful nations to undermine
Sino - Indian unity and escalate tension between the two Asian
giants the outcome of the RIC meeting is of special importance.
The meeting was preceded by bi-lateral meetings between Russia
and China, India and China and Russia and India. Thus there was
convergence of opinion at the RIC meeting.
The three countries jointly called for a greater role for
India in the United Nations affairs. As regards the
international financial institutions they sought "equitable
distribution of voting power between developed and developing
nations". The joint statement called for a "speedy shift in
International Monetary Fund quota share of at least five percent
to emerging market and developing countries and a significant
increase of at least three percent of voting power in the World
Bank for developing and transition countries, while avoiding
erosion in voting shares." The joint statement also mentioned
that "there is a need for a comprehensive reform of the United
Nations with a view to make it more efficient so that it can
deal with the current global challenges more effectively."
The three nations also called for a negotiated settlement of
the Iran nuclear issue and de-nuclearization of the Korean
Beside issues relating to international and regional
political situations, the three countries also discussed climate
change and its impact as well as cooperation in spheres of
trade, energy, chemicals, pharmaceutical and nanotechnology.
There is no doubt the deliberations at the RIC meeting would
have a beneficial impact on the maintenance of peace and
stability in the Asian region and the world as a whole.
The RIC meeting is yet another indication of the way
international relations are being restructured in the 21st
Century. The world is hopefully moving away from confrontation
to dialogue and cooperation. The time of hegemony, regional or
global is giving way to mutual understanding and cooperation.
Man and nature - then and now
Before the dawn of modern civilization man and nature were in
harmony. Not only did man find his basic needs from nature but
also treated nature with respect, even practising nature
Today, man harnesses nature more extensively but he treats it
with scorn. By polluting the atmosphere he has disturbed the
ecological balance of nature. Nature is fighting back with
tsunamis, floods, hurricanes and what not.
The "uncivilized man" then, never polluted waterways. The
"civilized" modern man pollutes waterways with industrial and
even human waste. Even human waste then nurtured nature by
providing manure. Today colossal collections of human waste are
discharged stealthily to waterways by technical and other means
that it becomes a health hazard.
Man harnessed the atom, mastered nuclear fission and uses his
knowledge to blow up the world. In comparison to the destructive
power amassed by world powers today, the destruction at
Hiroshima and Nagasaki seems child's play.
He has deciphered the genetic code and is cloning animals and
even man. The destruction that could be caused by mischievous
elements possessed of this knowledge is fearful, even to think
There are those aiming at star wars and taking the arms race
to the moon and may be, even to other parts of the solar system.
Are we in a lunatic asylum or have we achieved progress?