Youth Forum on Foreign Policy (YFFP) is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit initiative that seeks to develop an informed and substantive dialogue on foreign policy among Indians. Founded by Member of Parliament Gaurav Gogoi, representing the Kaliabor constituency in the Lok Sabha, as a conversation between four like minded individuals in New Delhi in 2011, YFFP has expanded its presence to cities like Bangalore, Guwahati, Mumbai and Kolkata.
The Delhi chapter of YFFP witnessed the launch of its first ever MP Engagement Series, a unique programme that aims to bridge the gap between concerned MPs with the youth of our nation. The Chief Guest of the event was honourable Member of Parliament from Kendrapara, Odhisa, Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda in conversation with Dr. WPS Sidhu, Senior Fellow, Brookings India.Mrs Ayesha Ahsan, Political Counsellor, High Commission of Pakistan also marked her presence.
The topic of the event was‘Regional economic integration is the key to development and peace for SAARC nations’ and was kicked off with Dr.WPS Sidhu explaining the importance and advantages of events like these. Mr. Panda explained the Indian economy system and its trade policies from 1947 till the opening up of its door to rest of the world in 1991. He addressed how India being considered as‘Big Brother’ by other SAARC nations has brought numerous tensions to India. The issue of Pakistan remained at the centre of the forum. Mr. Panda talked about how steps for improving relations with Pakistan are different than the rest of SAARC nations.
After the conversation, it was time for the audience to ask questions to the dignitaries. Many essential questions were raised by the concerned students ranging from why India provides electricity to other nations, specifically Bangladesh, when there are many states in our own country which don’t sufficient energy to why India still has trade relations with nations with which we have border tension, like Pakistan and China. The question of the possibility of a common currency among the SAARC nations like the Euro was also raised.
In all, the event provided people with an interest in foreign policy a unique platform to interact with like minds. To apply to YFFP to be part of similar events, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Core Team” as the subject.
DU Beat is the official media partner of YFFP.