‘India supports Palestine’s call for UN’s full membership’
By Rizwan Khatik - Sun Sep 25, 7:46 am
NEW YORK: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday highlighted at the United Nations General Assembly India’s new status as an emerging power as well as its willingness to play a bigger role on the international stage.
“We wish to quicken the pace of India’s transformation in partnership with the international community. A fast-growing India can expand the boundaries of the global economy. A democratic , plural and secular India can contribute to tolerance and peaceful co-existence of nations,” he said.
While acknowledging that the international community has a role to play to help with the process of transition and institution building , Manmohan Singh said, “The idea that prescriptions have to be imposed from outside is fraught with danger.”
He continued, “Actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity , sovereignty and independence of individual states” – a remark which echoed the feeling in India that Western powers went beyond the mandate they secured from the United Nations Security Council to use force in Libya. The Prime Minister stressed the need to abide by the foundational principles of the United Nations – internationalism and multilateralism – as he said, “We will succeed if our efforts have legitimacy and are pursued not just within the framework of law but also by the spirit of law.”
Singh also repeated India’s strong support to Palestine’s demand for full membership of the UN as a state. “India is steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognizable borders side by side and at peace with Israel. We look forward to welcoming Palestine as an equal member of the United Nations,” he said.
Making a strong pitch for the expansion of the UN Security Council so that it can reflect the contemporary reality , the PM said, “Such an outcome will enhance the council’s credibility and effectiveness in dealing with global issues. Early reform of the Security Council must be pursued with renewed vigour and urgently enacted.” He also focused on the piracy in the Indian Ocean, terming it a new threat to international security, and called for a comprehensive and effective response.