India's presence at the Paris Peace Forum, to be held in November this year, will be a matter of importance, according to Justin Vaisse, head of policy planning at the French ministry of foreign affairs. "There are two aspects to the Indian participation in the Paris Peace Forum. There were around a million Indian soldiers who were part of the World War I. They came to fight on the battlegrounds of Europe on behalf of the British. If only for that reason, there should be a high representation from India," he said.
"Secondly, India cannot be absent from that (Forum) because it represents a large share of humanity and a larger share of creativity in environment, green growth, zero budget farming and urban planning," Vaisse told PTI in an interview here. A diplomacy expert and international relations strategist, Vaisse has been tasked by French President Emmanuel Macron to launch the Forum, which will be held at Paris from November 11 to 13.
He is also the author of Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement (Harvard University Press 2010), the book described by the New York Times as "essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the contours of our recent political past". "The Paris Peace Forum is on global governance. It is about how we organise to tackle challenges that go beyond borders, like climate change, internet governance, migrations etc," Vaisse said. "So many of these challenges are across borders. You need cooperation (between countries)," he said.
"At a time when we need to adapt the traditional institutions to the new realities of power, and integrate emerging countries like India, China, Mexico and Brazil, you need to get everybody under the same roof once a year and insist on the importance of cooperation between states and international organisations," he said. "It will be good having India present projects and solutions of governance at the Forum. India is not just an invitee, but also a part of the Forum organisation," Vaisse said adding that the co-chair of the steering committee is Mumbai-based lawyer Trisha Shetty, who heads an NGO.
The Forum will have movers and shakers from various countries to build a more cooperative and better organised planet. "There will be around a 100 heads of state attending the event," he said. The Forum is envisioned as a recurring, annual event to promote governance solutions in five key issues: peace and security environment, development, new technologies and inclusive economy, he said.
It will be a forum for discussion and debate with special emphasis on civil society initiatives, and for sharing experiences and innovative solutions involving all the stakeholders in governance. Government leaders, local and national elected representatives, regional and international organisations, especially UN agencies, companies, associations, NGOs, foundations, think tanks, media, trade unions, religious leaders and philanthropists will be a part of the Forum.