The Atlantic Charter was a joint statement published by the United States and the United Kingdom during World War II (1939–45) that laid forth a vision for the postwar world. It set forth a wide set of objectives of U.S and British war such as:-
1. the desire for no territorial changes without the consent of the peoples affected.
2. They believed that every people had the right to select their own type of government and that those who had been stripped of their sovereign rights and self-governance should have them restored.
3. They would work to ensure that all states had equitable access to commerce and raw commodities.
4. They aimed to enhance labor standards, economic growth, and social security by promoting global collaboration.
5. They would seek a peace in which all countries could live peacefully inside their borders, without fear or want, after the “Nazi tyranny” (Germany) was destroyed.
Now, u must be wondering about why we are discussing the year-old charter now. That is because recently, The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have signed a revised version of the 80-year-old Atlantic Charter.
This revised version is a 604-word declaration which is an attempt to lay out a grand vision for global relations in the twenty-first century, much like the original charter was a declaration of a Western commitment to democracy and territorial integrity just months before the United States entered World War II. It’s a declaration of principles, a pledge that the United Kingdom and the United States will work together to meet the challenges of their time. It also emphasizes climate change and the need of biodiversity preservation. With references to new technology, cyberspace, and global development that is sustainable.
It urges Western partners to fight electoral meddling, particularly through misinformation and other harmful activities. In a technology era, it rates the risks to democratic states. It also declared that that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist.
Now, what will this new version of Atlantic charter holds the opportunity for India. Comparing the old and new version of Atlantic charter, the previous Atlantic Charter alienated Indian nationalism from the West, but the new Charter, as well as the rebooting of western institutions, could pave the way for a fruitful period of India’s collaboration with the US and its allies.
In 1941, the United Kingdom maintained that the charter’s self-determination concept did not apply to India. However, the inclusion of India and South Africa, as well as Australia and South Korea (as guests) at the G-7 meeting in 2021, demonstrates the urgent need to broaden the West’s base in dealing with global issues. Furthermore, The present Anglo-American initiative to formalize western talks with India is long overdue.
The Indian Prime Minister, who is participating in the G-7 meeting from afar, has the chance to demonstrate a commitment to both addressing views of decreasing democratic freedoms in India and offering genuine partnership with western democracies on global issues.