India calls for UN reforms, unrelenting war against terror (Roundup)

September 24th, 2011 - 10:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh United Nations, Sep 24 (IANS) Declaring that India stands ready to play its part in meeting global challenges from economic downturn to terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday sought key reforms at the UN and global financial institutions.

“There cannot be any selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or the infrastructure of terrorism,” Manmohan Singh told the United Nations General Assembly as he called for an unrelenting fight against terrorism.

“Terrorism has to be fought across all fronts,” he said in his 21-minute address that was greeted with allround applause.

“Terrorism continues to rear its ugly head and take a grievous toll of innocent lives.”

Manmohan Singh said: “In South Asia there are encouraging signs of cooperation in the area of security, as exemplified in India’s cooperation with Bangladesh.”

Calling upon the UN to once again embrace the principles of internationalism to meet the global challenges, he said: “We have no choice but to meet these challenges.”

“We will succeed if we adopt a cooperative rather than a confrontationist approach,” he said, seeking revitalisation of the UN General Assembly and reforms and expansion of the decision making Security Council to “reflect contemporary reality”.

“More importantly, we will succeed if our efforts have legitimacy and are pursued not just within the framework of law, but also the spirit of law,” Manmohan Singh said asserting that actions taken under the authority of the UN “must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states”.

Among the key challenges facing the comity of nations, the prime minister identified a troubled world economy, terrorism, social and political upheaval in West Asia and North Africa, the still unresolved Palestinian question and iniquitous growth.

To address what he called the “deficit in global governance”, Manmohan Singh called for making the UN “stronger and more effective”.

He also called for pursuing the reform of governance systems of international institutions with “speed and efficiency”, saying “we should not allow the global economic slowdown to become a trigger for building walls around ourselves through protectionism or erecting barriers to movement of people, services and capital”.

Noting that nuclear proliferation continues to remain a threat to international security, Manmohan Singh said the “action plan put forward by (then) prime minister Rajiv Gandhi provides a concrete road map for achieving nuclear disarmament in a time bound, universal, non discriminatory, phased and verifiable manner”.

Expressing the confidence that people’s faith in the UN Charter and objectives of the United Nations “through statesmanship, foresight and collective efforts”, he declared “India stands ready to play its part in this noble endeavour”.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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