At least 12 Foreign Ministers, including Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Javad Zarif of Iran and Marise Payne of Australia, and seven former heads of state and government will attend the “Raisina Dialogue” organised by the External Affairs Ministry jointly with the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi from 14th Jan. Also attending are Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamidullah Mohib and U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger. “The Dialogue has been India’s contribution to global efforts to discover solutions, identify opportunities and provide stability to a century that has witnessed an eventful two decades,” said an Ministry statement, explaining the significance of the conference held every year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the inaugural session where former leaders, including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former Prime Ministers Helen Clark of New Zealand, Stephen Harper of Canada, Carl Bildt of Sweden, Anders Rasmussen of Denmark, Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan and Han Seung-soo of South Korea, will be discussing future global issues. The title of the Raisina Dialogue this year is “Navigating the alpha century”. Mr. Modi will also host a meeting of all the visiting Foreign Ministers together. The conference, which is in its fifth year, will host 700 participants from more than 100 countries, a statement issued by the Ministry said, adding that at least 40% of the speakers would be women. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was due to give the inaugural keynote address, had to pull out due to the fire crisis in Australia, which means that unlike previous versions of the conference, this year will have no sitting head of government or state participating. Bangladesh Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam, who cancelled his participation on Saturday, will be replaced by the Information Minister Mohammad H. Mahmud. Another key feature of the event, a session on the Indo-Pacific that includes military or naval commanders from the “Quadrilateral or Quad”, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, will also have a French Defence official on the panel this year.
About 800,000 years ago, a giant straight-tusked elephant migrated out of Africa and spread across Europe and Asia. Marked by a huge head (4.5 feet