Britain to push for bigger Indian role in CommonwealthAugust 29th, 2011 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Ahead of the Commonwealth summit in Australia, Lord David Howell, Britain’s minister of state for foreign and Commonwealth office, will hold wide-ranging talks here and seek India’s bigger role to reinvigorate the 54-nation organisation of former British colonies.
Howell, who begins his two-day visit Tuesday, is expected to meet Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur Wednesday and hold talks on a range of issues related to the Commonwealth.
“As the Commonwealth’s largest parliamentary democracy and the home to over half of the Commonwealth’s population, it’s clear that India has an important role to play in influencing the future of the Commonwealth,” Howell said Monday in a statement ahead of his visit.
The talks will focus on “how the organisation should develop and grow, and how best to direct the collective economic and political influence of all its members to tackle key challenges such as promoting trade, alleviating poverty and acting as a beacon for the highest democratic standards,” he said.
Howell will deliver a lecture “The Future of the Commonwealth” at the Indian Council for World Affairs Tuesday, and is expected to push for a proactive Indian role in the evolution of the organisation.
He will also meet Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
Energy security will be an important theme during Howell’s discussions with Indian leaders and officials. In this context, he will hold meetings with Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and R.K. Pachauri, Director General, TERI.
Vice President M. Hamid Ansari will represent India at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth Oct 28.
The official theme for CHOGM 2011 is “Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience”. The meeting will seek to promote democracy, the rule of law and good governance.
The summit will be preceded by a meeting of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group in London and the meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers at the UN General Assembly in New York.
The leaders will discuss a host of pressing global issues, including the global financial situation, counter-terrorism and climate change.
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Tags: chief election commissioner, chogm, commonwealth heads, commonwealth summit, david howell, democratic standards, deputy chairman, energy security, foreign and commonwealth, foreign and commonwealth office, former british colonies, hamid ansari, heads of government, indian leaders, jaipal reddy, key challenges, montek singh ahluwalia, parliamentary democracy, quraishi, shashi tharoor