India, Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of UN: PM (Update)

New Delhi, Oct. 29 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India and Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of the United Nations.

Prime Minister Modi, who was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the third India-Africa Forum Summit, said the world is undergoing political, economic, technological and security transition on a scale and speed rarely seen in recent history.

“Yet our global institutions reflect the circumstances of the century that we left behind, not the one we are in today. 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,” said Prime Minister Modi.

“This is a world of free nations and awakened aspirations. Our institutions cannot be representative of our world, if they do not give voice to Africa, with more than a quarter of UN members, or the world’s largest democracy with one-sixth of humanity. That is why India and Africa must speak in one voice for reforms of the United Nations, including its Security Council,” he added.

The Prime Minister said 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. We also see that when our oceans are no longer safe for trade, we all suffer together. And, when nations are caught in conflict within, no one around remains untouched. And, we know that our cyber networks bring opportunities, but also carry huge risks.So, when it comes to security, distance no longer insulates us from each other,” said Prime Minister Modi.

“That is why we wish to deepen our cooperation in maritime security and hydrography, and countering terrorism and extremism; and, why we must have a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We will also provide support for Africa Union’s peacekeeping efforts. And, we will train African peacekeepers here and in Africa. We must also have a stronger voice in decisions on UN Peacekeeping Missions,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi said from connecting lives to collaborating for our prosperity, from keeping our people safe to advancing our global interests, the agenda of our partnership stretches across the vast territory of our linked aspirations.

“To add strength to our partnership, India will offer concessional credit of 10 billion U.S. dollars over the next five years. This will be in addition to our ongoing credit programme. We will also offer a grant assistance of 600 million U.S. dollars. This will include an India-Africa Development Fund of 100 million U.S. dollars and an India-Africa Health Fund of 10 million U.S. dollars. It will also include 50,000 scholarships in India over the next five years. And, it will support the expansion of the Pan Africa E-Network and institutions of skilling, training and learning across Africa,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi further said if this century is going to be one in which all humans have a life of opportunity, equality and dignity; stand in peace with each other; and live in balance with nature, then India and Africa must rise together.

The Prime Minister pointed out that two-third of India and Africa is under the age of 35.

“And, as we look to the future, there is something precious that unites us: it is our youth. Two-thirds of India and two-thirds of Africa is under the age of 35 years. And, if the future belongs to the youth, then this century is ours to shape and build,” he said. (ANI)

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