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India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have since the 1990s argued that as growing economies with large populations and influence on the global stage they, too, should have permanent member status.
“We need a United Nations that is sensitive to the aspirations of everyone – rich or poor, big or small. For this the United Nations and its principal organs, the General Assembly and the Security Council, must be revitalised and reformed,” Singh told the general debate of the UN General Assembly, which entered its fifth day
He said that the composition of the UNSC must reflect current political realities and that more countries should participate as both permanent and non-permanent members.
“They [developing nations] require a supportive international economic environment, enhanced investment flows, including from multilateral development banks, transfer of technology, and an open multilateral trading regime,” Singh said.
India has long argued against the disproportionate influence some developed nations have in such world bodies as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Pradeep S Mehta, the Secretary General of the Jaipur-based Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International) and a former advisor to the WTO director-general, says that India has long laboured for both multi-literalism and developing nations’ concerns.
“Indeed, as a member of the WTO and as a respected voice for developing countries, India will have to strategically establish an approach that will balance on the one hand its international commitment to multilateralism, and on the other, its growing role as an advocate for developing country concerns,” he writes.
The Indian prime minister said that leading economies should refrain from protectionist policies or pursuing bilateral trade agreements.
Singh’s calls for reform of the UNSC, and ultimately the way it resolves conflicts – whether economic, political or military, partially influenced the conditions which birthed BRICS.
Founding members Brazil and India both saw themselves as economic stalwarts, nuclear-ready (India’s programme has already been weaponised), and major contributors to the UN both financially, and in men and materiel for peacekeeping operations.
In his address on Saturday, the Indian prime minister also touched on the crisis in Syria saying that the observance of international law is crucial.
“Societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future,” Singh said.
“Actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states,” he added.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies