Modi pitches for UNSC reforms

New Delhi:  Strongly pitching for UN Security Council reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cautioned that UNSC ran the risk of becoming irrelevant unless it adjusted to the changing world even as he called for concerted efforts to deal with growing challenge of terrorism. In his address to the inaugural session of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS), Modi said the world was undergoing political, economic, technological and security transition on a scale and speed rarely seen in recent history and yet the global institutions reflected the circumstances of the century that “we left behind”. “These institutions have served us well, but unless they adjust to the changing world, they risk becoming irrelevant.
We cannot say what will replace them in an uncertain future. But, we might have a more fragmented world that is less capable of dealing with the challenges of our era. That is why India advocates reforms in global institutions,” Modi said. The summit is being attended by representatives of over 50 countries including 41 Heads of State and Government of African countries.
Calling India and Africa two bright spots of hope and opportunities in the global economy, Modi said both sides must work together to defeat terrorism. “Today, in many parts of the world, the light of a bright future flickers in the storm of violence and instability. When terror snuffs out life on the streets and beaches, and in malls and schools of Africa, we feel your pain as our own. And, we see the links that unite us against this threat.
Talking about overall ties, Modi said India was honoured to be a development partner of Africa and that it is a partnership beyond strategic concerns and economic benefits. “In less than a decade, our trade has more than doubled to over 70 billion dollars. India is now a major source of business investments in Africa.
On Thursday, 34 African countries enjoy duty free access to the Indian market. “African energy helps run the engine of the Indian economy; its resources are powering our industries; and, African prosperity offers growing market for Indian products,” he said. Modi said India has committed 7.4 billion dollars in concessional credit and 1.2 billion dollars in grant since the first India-Africa Summit in 2008. It is creating 100 capacity building institutions and developing infrastructure, public transport, clean energy, irrigation, agriculture and manufacturing capacity across Africa.
“We will work to reduce digital divide within Africa and between Africa and rest of the world. We will cooperate for sustainable development of Blue Economy that will become important future drivers of our prosperity. “For me, Blue Economy is part of a larger Blue Revolution to reclaim our blue skies and blue waters, as we move on the path of clean development,” he said. (PTI)

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