Mittwoch, 23. Mai 2018

Civil Society Consultation:

India-Asean Strategic Partnership & Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Construction of Mumbai Metro One Bridge over Western Express Highway, Mumbai.. Urheber/in: Ramnath Bhat. Creative Commons License LogoDieses Bild steht unter einer Creative Commons License.
Datum, Uhrzeit
Mi., 23. Mai 2018,
09.00 – 13.00 Uhr In meinem Kalender speichern
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung India Office

Civil Society is an instrumental stakeholder in Global Multilaterals, involved in creating effective and sustainable development solutions for policy coherence and providing SMART reflection of grassroots realities and problems. Representing India’s Civil Society Organizations as their ‘national platform’ VANI has been consistently articulating for the role and space of India’s Civil Society in analyzing Development Cooperation objectives of the Indian Government. 2018 is marked by two seminal events in the timeline of India’s Development Cooperation- ASEAN- India’s 25 year celebration and the upcoming Board Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Mumbai. The emphasis of these two Multilaterals is facilitating holistic Sustainable Development through the promotion of multi-stakeholder participation for policy development.


In January 2018, India re-energized its partnership with ASEAN by celebrating 25 years of its relationship with the multilateral. The outcome was captured by the Delhi Declaration which stressed on an array of partnerships but envisaged on the need for cooperation in areas of empowerment and protection of women and children, promoting sustainable health systems, battling climate change, disaster management, promoting blue economy and narrowing development gaps. The recognition accorded to cooperation on social development provides legitimacy to Civil Society to be an integral stakeholder in providing policy inputs and social assessments of the differentials between expectations and achievements despite the absence of a platform for interface. Civil Society Organizations in India have been essential non-state actors pioneering in social development, human rights advocacy, social entrepreneurship, democracy and inclusion. Their contribution towards cultivating social policies has witnessed desirable outcomes that have contributed in salvaging adverse effects of poverty, economic deprivation and social burdens.  The implicit need for Civil Society to convene and collectivize in deliberating its interventional role in the ASEAN framework is integral towards promoting equitable growth and inclusion and critically analyze pitfalls of economic, commercial and technological strategic partnerships that are dictated by macro-focus of multilaterals.


The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a Development Financial Institution (DFI) has emerged as Global South’s response to the established Bretton Woods Institutions with a streamlined focus on investing in sustainable, resilient and environmentally compatible infrastructure in Asia. With India having the second largest shareholding in the bank and the Annual General Meeting to be convened at Mumbai in June 2018, AIIB will inevitably emerge as a driving force in the development cooperation dynamics of India and South Asia. The AIIB’s expanded bandwidth of financing has taken cognizance of resource mobilization in addressing development pitfalls through holistic targeting of Regional Development, Infrastructure, Ocean Livelihoods, Clean and Renewable Energy and Water Sanitation. AIIB’s structure provides a demarcated platform for Civil Society engagement through the adoption of the Environment and Social Framework and emphasis on sustainability, ecological balancing and alignment with financing towards projects under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Albeit the approach of Civil Society lacks a structured mechanism for liaison with AIIB and has to be ironed through collective peer learning and knowledge exchange within the broad framework of South-South and Triangular Cooperation. Given this ambiguity there is a need for comprehensively convening Civil Society to converge on issues of standardization, benchmarking and social auditing of development projects financed by AIIB.


Civil Society’s participation at Multilaterals has been pivotal in producing sustained change, transformative action and achieving inclusive development. The AIIB and ASEAN’s focus on Sustainable Development provides India’s Civil Society to actively engage with the Government of India (GoI) in contributing towards critical assessment of policies, projects and investments envisaged under these two multilaterals. India’s Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has the last mile accessibility to the grassroots and boasts effective real time data on social indices that can amplify Social Impact of these two Development Cooperation initiatives. Over the years under VANI’s leadership, Civil Society Organization’s have been engaging in conversations around India’s Development Cooperation and participating in mechanisms that solicit their experiences, inputs and data. The AIIB and India-ASEAN partnership require critical analysis by virtue of their ‘development oriented’ approach with the need to cultivate awareness on the intent and objective of their policies and therefore make it essential for Civil Society confluence for objective analysis on the modalities of these initiatives.

Venue: India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110 00

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