Public Diplomacy

Intervention by External Affairs Minister at the Interactive Debate on ‘Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance’ at the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement

August 28, 2012

Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies and Distinguished delegates,

At the outset, allow me to extend my warm congratulations to the distinguished Foreign Minister of Iran on his election as Chair of this meeting. I thank our Iranian hosts for their gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements made for this Summit.

As we deliberate today in Tehran, I also recall the shared civilizational linkages and interaction between the peoples of our two countries.

I also wish to convey our sincere appreciation to the Government of Egypt for their able stewardship of the Movement over the past three years, amidst a period of profound democratic transition in the country.

The theme of our debate is significant and timely. In today’s increasingly inter-connected and interdependent world, the destinies of nations are more inextricably linked than at any other time in our history. While the process of globalization has offered us immense opportunities, it has also accentuated the challenges, which are much more complex, multidimensional and transnational in nature.

Mr. Chairman,

The central challenges of our times relate to management of the global economy and finance, securing stable food and energy supplies, poverty alleviation, eradicating hunger and deprivation, tackling pandemics, raising literacy levels, ensuring sustainable development and coping with climate change. Equally serious challenges are posed by terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, piracy, drug trafficking, organized crime and other threats to international peace and security.

Developing countries have been disproportionately impacted by the uncertainties in the current global economic environment. The global economic recovery continues to falter. The situation in the Euro zone has made matters even more difficult. At this juncture, enhanced international policy coordination is necessary to maintain macroeconomic stability conducive to the healthy recovery of the global economy.

With 80% of the world’s population and about 90% of the world’s youth living in developing countries, the challenges of growth and development facing us are immense. We need to impart our youth with the necessary technical skills. We need to create job opportunities to foster rapid economic growth.

Mr. Chairman,

Attainment of the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs) is fundamental to our quest for inclusive, equitable and sustained global growth. Given the halting progress that we have achieved so far, it would be important to maintain our focus on MDGs beyond 2015, entailing enhanced financial and technological support for developing countries.

Nowhere in the world are the development challenges as stark as in the African continent. The Movement must continue to work towards ensuring Africa’s primacy in the development Agenda. On our part, we are scaling up our development assistance bilaterally as well as within the framework of India-Africa Summits and South-South cooperation. We must work towards preserving the centrality of the development agenda in the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations.

The imperatives of ensuring Sustainable Development and addressing Climate Change are greater than ever before. Recently, we had a successful conclusion of the RIO+20 Conference. It is important that we make all possible efforts to realize the outcome in letter and on the basis of the accepted principle of common but differentiated responsibility and equity. More importantly, we need to firmly anchor the role of the developing world in the decision making processes.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism is the biggest scourge of our times targeting the socio-economic fabric of our pluralistic societies. We need to raise the fight against terrorism to a higher level. There should be zero tolerance towards terrorism. It is high time that we demonstrate the necessary political will and agree on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations. Piracy off the coast of Somalia has brought immense human sufferings while posing a serious threat to sea-lanes of maritime commerce. We need concerted international action to combat this menace, preferably under the aegis of the UN.

The Movement needs to play a more active and advocacy role in efforts aimed at achieving universal nuclear disarmament and a world free of all nuclear weapons. The apparent failings of the present global governance architecture have further constrained our ability to respond to global challenges. The time has come for the developed and the developing countries to work together on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law and multilateral decision making to deal with the challenges and the opportunities before the world today.

Mr. Chairman,

We need approaches which are inclusive, transparent and firmly anchored in multilateralism to navigate these challenges. It is our considered view that the United Nations stands best placed to play a central role in this regard. We need to redouble our efforts towards a more democratic, equitable, and legitimized international architecture that reflects contemporary realities.
India remains convinced that until comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council is undertaken, the overall reform of the UN can only be regarded as piecemeal and incomplete. We also need a more representative international financial architecture, with an increase in the voice and representation of the developing countries. The current slow pace of quota and governance reforms in the IMF must be expedited.

Since the beginning of 2011, people’s profound yearning for playing a greater role in their political, social and economic lives has been sweeping parts of West Asia and North Africa. In dealing with legitimate aspirations, it is necessary that all sides shun recourse to violence. Changes brought about by non-violent, inclusive political processes are not only enduring but also promote social cohesion and stability.

In this context, we are deeply concerned at developments in Syria, which have the potential to spill over beyond Syria’s borders. Further militarization of the conflict must, therefore, be avoided. We reiterate our support for a Syrian-led inclusive political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society and respects Syria’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Mr. Chairman,

Developments in West Asia and North Africa should not sideline the Palestinian issue. We continue to support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to a state of their own based on the pre-1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side and in peace with Israel. We also continue to support Palestine’s application for membership of the United Nations.

The diversity of our Movement is our biggest strength. We respect each other’s paths to development, distinct cultural traditions and have an abiding faith in peaceful co-existence. India’s former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi quite aptly described NAM as the largest peace movement in the world.

For further strengthening our Movement, we need to build on areas of commonality and effectively exploit the synergies amongst its vast membership. I am confident that our deliberations during the course of this Summit would be helpful in evolving a contemporary and compelling vision for our Movement.

August 28, 2012


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