Calling on the UN to embrace reform, Manmohan Singh says developing nations could address challenges like the economic downturn and terrorism; furthers India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council
Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India wants to quicken the pace of its transformation in partnership with the international community to counter the "deficit in global governance".
PM Manmohan Singh adresses members of the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday. Pic/ AFP Photo
Amid applause, he called to make UN "stronger and more effective" with revitalisation of the UN General Assembly, reforms and expansion of the decision-making Security Council to "reflect contemporary reality".
Singh said the world needed a stronger and more effective UN. This came after meetings where the G-4 countries, including India, Brazil, German and Japan pushed for reform of the UNSC in which India wants to be a permanent member.
In the midst of controversies over the "interventions" in the Middle East, the PM said terrorism continued to rear its ugly head. "New threats to international security have emerged," he said and added, "we will succeed if we adopt a co-operative rather than a confrontationist approach."
In his 15-minute speech he explained, "Societies cannot be re-ordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future... Actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states."
PM Singh also spoke about global economies and local price rise. "The shoots of recovery which were visible after the economic and financial crisis of 2008 have yet to blossom. In many respects the crisis has deepened even further." He said the spiral in energy and food prices introduced instability, especially for the developing countries.
He added that traditional engines of the global economy such as the US, Europe and Japan, which are also the sources of global economic and financial stability, are also facing an economic slowdown which are bound to have a negative impact on developing countries, that bear the additional burden of inflationary pressures.
Singh said countries should not allow the global economic slowdown to become a trigger for building walls through protectionism or erecting barriers to movement of people, services and capital.
"We need a more determined effort to ensure balanced, inclusive and sustainable development for the benefit of vast sections of humanity. Each of us can contribute to this task but we can achieve far more if we act in partnership," he said.
"A fast-growing India can expand the boundaries for the global economy," he said, adding that developing countries need investment, technology and market access for their products.