Variety can add to strength of federal structure: Shivraj Patil

November 14th, 2007 - 8:31 am ICT by admin  
Delivering keynote address at the Fourth International Conference on Federalism here, Patil said federalism is practiced in 26 countries of the world, and observed that units of a federal structure were not similar in things they practice and hold as their own.

“This variety can make the federal structure rich and vibrant,” Patil said.

“New situations are developing in the world, because of the developments of new concepts, new sciences and new technologies. The federal system has to adjust with new demands and new situations,” he added.

Noting that the concept of federalism takes into consideration the importance that should be attached to the variety as well as to the unity, Patil said that if it was used as per its innate spirit, “it can help to strengthen federal structures, regional groups and the international organisations.”

Earlier today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the three-day long conference.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address on Wednesday.

The conference is being organised in partnership between the Government of India and the Forum of Federations, a Canada-based international forum of federal countries. The earlier conferences were held in Canada 1999, Switzerland 2002 and Belgium 2005.

About 1000 delegates are attending the conference, including Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Switzerland President Micheline Calmy-Rey and Nigeria Vice President Jonathan Goodluck.

There will be no occasions for ‘official’ statements of government positions. The conference will be practice-oriented. It will provide a forum for the sharing of federalism best practices that ultimately contribute to better governance.

The title of the Conference is Unity in Diversity - learning from each other.

The conference is based on four broad themes and twelve sub-themes. The topics for Theme Sessions include Building on and Accommodating Diversities, Emerging Issues in Fiscal Federalism, Interaction in a Federal system and Local Government and Federal Systems. For the first time, local government will be the topic of a theme session. (ANI)

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