WASHINGTON: Making a “very important distinction”, external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday said “India is non-Western” and “not anti-Western”.
Jaishankar made the remarks while addressing an interactive session at Hudson Institute on ‘India’s role in a New Pacific Order’.
Speaking on changing world architecture, Jaishankar said, “The world as we live it today is largely a Western construct. Now, if you look at the world architecture there’s been obviously enormous change in the last 80 years… nothing illustrates it more than the G20 itself. So, the list of the G20 will tell you the easiest way of actually getting a sense of the changes in the world.”
“So, I make this very important distinction. Where India is concerned, India is non-Western. India is not anti-Western,” Jaishankar added.
On India being described as a reformist rather than as a revisionist power, he said, “… it’s very clear today that we are serious about climate action. If you are looking to sustain, to ensure that Sustainable Development Goals are well-resourced, then somewhere we have to find the financial muscle for that.”
On whether India had set sights on a changed world order, he said, “We do believe today United Nations where the most populous country is not in the Security Council, when the fifth largest economy is not there, when a continent of 50 plus countries is not there, that United Nations obviously lacks credibility and toward large degree effectiveness as well. So when we approach the world, it’s not with a sort of pull down the pillars kind of approach.”
At the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York also, Jaishankar called on the United Nations to make reforms to stay relevant in the modern world and said that the issue cannot remain “indefinite” and “unchallenged”.
Keeping up with his refrain from his address at the United Nations General Assembly, Jaishankar said, “In our deliberations, we often advocate promotion of a rules-based order. From time to time, respect for the UN Charter is also involved. But for all the talk, it is still a few nations, which shape the agenda and seek to define the norms. This can’t go on indefinitely nor will it go unchallenged. A fair, equitable and democratic order will surely emerge once we all put our minds to it. And for a start, that means ensuring that rule-makers do not subjugate rule-takers.”
Jaishankar is currently in the last leg of his US visit.
Earlier, he was in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Wrapping up his New York visit, the EAM arrived in Washington, DC on September 28. Upon his arrival, Jaishankar met his US counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington DC, and the two leaders affirmed hope for positive outcomes from the bilateral talks.
Further, during an interaction at the Hudson Institute, the EAM added, “John (moderator) you said that India and the United States have never worked together before…That is a very thoughtful observation because dealing with each other is not the same as working with each other. In the past we have always dealt with each other, sometimes not entirely happily, but working with each other is really uncharted territory.”
“It is a territory which we have both entered in the last few years. It has required both of us, to overcome what my Prime Minister called the hesitations of history when he spoke to Congress a few years ago. So how do we create that ability and the convergences and hopefully the comfort to work together? I think that would be very crucial to the future of the Pacific order,” he added.
On a visit to the US since September 22, Jaishankar will also be addressing the 4th World Culture Festival, which is being organised by the Art of Living Foundation of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

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