The actual outcome of the New Delhi World Conference

The conference has put in evidence the growing role of countries from different continents along with the difficulties and a relative marginalization of the European Union.

The conference in New Delhi on 9-10 September had an unexpected unanimous conclusion. Less than a year has passed since these countries had met in Bali and a general agreement had proven impossible. 

A success for the Indian government led by Narendra Modi for its ability to mediate between opposing world powers in relation to the war in Ukraine. The significance of the agreement was clearly illustrated with an image of the conference president, Narendra Modi head of the Indian government, in the center, Joe Biden on his right and Lula Da Silva on the left. An image that evoked unity among the major world powers.

The figure of Lula among the heads of the conference - China was represented not by President Xi but by the Head of Government Li Quang - has a double meaning. On the one hand, it intimated Brazil’s leading role in the South America - understood in a broad sense to include Venezuela and Cuba – while demonstrating, on the other, Brazil's new role on the world stage as evidenced by the previous meeting in Beijing between Lula and Xi Jinping. A meeting highlighted by Dilma Rousseff, former president of Brazil, destined to become president of BRICS, one of the two most important alliances at a worldwide level, which includes, in addition to Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa.

the Middle East
The new framework of international relations had been extended to the Middle East with Xi's trip to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. A meeting that ended with the important agreement between China, Saudi Arabia and Iran. A surprising outcome for two countries – Saudi Arabia and Iran - characterized over the years by adverse political positions in the conflict in Yemen.

The meeting, backed by Xi, was a clear testimony to the profound changes underway in the political configuration of the Middle East. To which followed also the entry of Syria in the new middle east alliance after the long and disastrous war with eastern countries. In essence, a radical change in the relations within the middle eastern countries and their relations with China and, indirectly, with Russia. A new general configuration of relations which indicates that we are witnessing radical changes in international political structures from the Pacific coast to the Middle East.

The new structure is not only relevant in the geopolitical configuration. Since the Second World War, monetary policy has been dominated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Two global institutions whose headquarters are, not by chance, in Washington. The Monetary Fund, which has a central role, intervenes, with loans to countries that have problems due to debts accumulated on the financial markets. Here the role of the IMF appears reasonable.

The problem arises due to the constraints placed on the internal politics of the countries that have resorted to using the IMF. Essentially, a policy of national governments obligatorily aimed at reducing public spending, such as public investments, state-funded pensions, unemployment benefits and so on. In other words, a restrictive policy that leads to a reduction in national income and an increase in levels of unemployment and poverty.

The countries that have decided to not engage, or engage only partially, in the Monetary Fund – of which China and Brazil are examples - have decided a novel approach with the conversion of debt, or of a portion of it, into the national currency to escape the guillotine of the IMF. Essentially, adopting a line that tends towards economic growth through national or international investments in public sectors - for example, roads, railways, ports - tending to increase growth and facilitating the repayment of debts over time. In other words, a reduction in the role of the Monetary Fund in determining national policies.

The times and methods are not defined but the start of the process is evident. The agreement between the five countries - China, Brazil, India, Russia and, lastly, South Africa - dates back to the first decade of the century. Now the picture has radically changed. Brazil, after the unfortunate parenthesis of the Bolsonaro presidency, returns to play an active role with Dilma Rousseff at the top of the organization. An organization that widens its sphere from January 2024 with the membership, of six new countries - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates. A general assessment indicating that we are in the presence of radical changes in international political asset with a compound of countries that include about for milliard people. A new global configuration that indicates that we are in the presence of radical changes in international politics.

Biden's position
Biden's position had already appeared more cautious in recent times towards the ongoing conflict. He had resolutely denied NATO's intervention in the conflict and had expressed, albeit in a far from clear way, his disappointment with what was supposed to be Ukraine's decisive offensive - aided by American armaments and, in part European, in the clash with Russia near the borders of Crimea.

In fact, with the resolution adopted unanimously in New Delhi, the United States, even though remaining on a opposite front with Russia, considers China the most important adversary in the strategic and long-term confrontation with the United States. That the outcome of the New Delhi conference was no coincidence is amply demonstrated by the effort put into its preparation over many months, when the final resolution had to be decided without a breakdown in relations between India and the United States. In essence, the conference was a review of the new alignments outlined globally.

After New Delhi, the question that worries us most can be posed in these terms: what is the role of the European Union in this reshuffling of the cards at a global level? Simply put, the European Union is outside the scenario that is emerging globally. In Europe, where the economic policy  is set by the European Commission, the trend is the exact reverse. On the other side, the European central Bank, wich under many aspects lead the economic policy of the member States, have as their main focus the stabilisation of the euro. With the consequence of a  continuous reduction of public investments and social spending in a framework of lower growth and high unemployment - t as it is demonstrated by the main countries of the European Union, from Italy to Spain and France.

With the ongoing conflict, the closure of gas pipelines and the reduction of exports, the economic growth of Germany – in other terms, the economy of the most important western European country – is been in the last two quarters below zero. And in the other main countries growth is under one percent. If the war has always negative oucomes for economic and social outcomess, these are particularly heavy on Western Europe.

Summng up
In summary, international politics has a new center on the Pacific with China and on the Indian Ocean with ndia and the oil-rich countries , from Saudi Arabia to the countries of the Arabian Gulf and Iran. The role of the European Union is to a large extent isolated. - a marginalization of Europe that has been accepted by the leading class, without considering the global evolution and the new assets. 

The war with Russia seems less important for the future of the US that will be engaged in the challenge of electing a possible new president at the end of next year. In the meanwhile, the foreign policies are at the center of its strategy. Europe, instead, oscillates in this new order in a marginal position.

For a long time, it could be said that the European community was among the most developed countries of the world economy. Today it is decidedly marginalised. The future is always uncertain, and it is imprudent to make predictions. But Europe, with its monetary economic and social policy, appears increasingly peripheral with regard to the deep changes underway at the global level. Changes that are poorly or not at all noticed by the governments that run European countries.

Antonio Lettieri

Antonio Lettieri is Editor of Insight and President of CISS – Center for International Social Studies (Roma). He was National Secretary of CGIL; Member of ILO Governing Body,and Advisor of Labor Minister for European Affairs.(