New Delhiinfo-icon: Several high profile delegates from the Middle Eastinfo-icon and Africainfo-icon are among 700 international participants from over 100 countries attending Raisina Dialogueinfo-icon - Indiainfo-icon's flagship global conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, which opens in Delhi on Tuesday.

This is the fifth edition of the Raisina Dialogue where global leaders in policy, businessinfo-icon, mediainfo-icon and civil society will be hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters. The title of the Raisina Dialogue this year is "Navigating the Alpha Century".

"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 MEA statement, explaining the significance of the annual conference.

The conference, jointly organised by India's ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the Observer Researchinfo-icon Foundation, a think-tank backed by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Group, will be attended by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seven former heads of state and government.

Prime Minister Modi will address the inaugural session while other visiting leaders will talk about important challenges facing the worldinfo-icon, a spokesperson of MEA said.

Along with foreign ministers from 12 countries, including the foreign ministers of Russiainfo-icon, Iraninfo-icon, Australiainfo-icon, Maldivesinfo-icon, South Africainfo-icon, Estonia, Czech Republic, Denmarkinfo-icon, Hungary, Latvia, Uzbekistaninfo-icon and the European Unioninfo-icon, the National Security Adviser (NSA) of Afghanistaninfo-icon, the Deputy NSA of the United Statesinfo-icon and several other ministers of state will also present their ideas.

The Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation i.e. SCOinfo-icon and Secretary-General of Commonwealth will also be a part of the event.

This year's edition of Raisina Dialogue assumes added significance as it is being held in the backdrop of nationwide protests in India against a new controversial citizenship act and the ongoing tension in West Asiainfo-icon.

Over next three days, 80 sessions will take place pertaining to five major subjects including 'The Nationalist Impulsive Challenge as Global Institutions and Collective Action', 'The Debate on the Global Trading Architecture', 'Role of Technologyinfo-icon in Data Mining', 'Political Economic and Military Power', 'The Global Development Agenda and State Individual Relationships in the Age of Digital Communities and Cyberspace.'

The heads of over 30 international think-tanks will also moderate or present their view points across different sessions at this year's conference, offering an opportunity for exchange of diverse view-points from around the world.

Ebtesam Al Ketbi, President, Emirates Policy Centre, and Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman, World Council for Musliminfo-icon Communities, are among the dignitaries from UAEinfo-icon who will be addressing the conference.

Al Nuaimi will be speaking at a session on "Geopolitics and God: Identity and Religioninfo-icon in the Digital Age".

Australian PM skips

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 attend.

Bangladeshinfo-icon Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam cancelled his participation at the last minute, but Information Minister Mohammad H. Mahmud is outlooked to attend the conference.

Another key featureinfo-icon of the event, a session on the Indo-Pacific that includes military or naval commanders from the "Quadrilateral or Quad", Australia, India, Japaninfo-icon, and the United States, will also have a French Defence official on the panel this year.

Organized along the lines of the Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singaporeinfo-icon, the conference takes its name from the Raisina Hills, where India's seat of power resides.

The first edition of the Dialogue took place in March 2016. The overarching theme of that inaugural edition was 'Asiainfo-icon: Regional and Global Connectivity'. The next year's theme was "The New Normal: Multilateralism with Multi-Polarity". At each Dialogue, these themes provide a contextual backdrop to the sessions, presentations and discussions.

Raisina Dialogue is an opportunity for the world to see India's growing aspirations to play a more proactive role in international relations, according to political analyst Martand Jha.