Narendra Modi says UN needs modernisation

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi draws attention to necessity of change on UN’s structure to keep up with global conjuncture

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the Inaugural Session of the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, India on October 29 2015 [Reuters]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the United Nations should keep up with the alteration on global, political and economical conjuncture if they don't want to be "risked becoming irrelevant."

Addressing the Third India-Africa Forum Summit at  Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, the Indian leader said that although the world is undergoing political, economic, technological and security transition on a scale and speed rarely seen in recent history, global institutions reflect the circumstances of the century that "we left behind."

During his speech, Modi called India and Africa for unity to motivate the UN for innovation to adjust to the changing world.

Modi also criticised the current situation in the UN saying that neither India nor any African country has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which is made up of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

"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,” Modi said

That is why India and Africa must speak in one voice to push the United Nations to make reforms, including its Security Council," he added.

Following Modi’s speech, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at the Forum shared the same idea with the Indian Prime Minister saying that India and Africa have remained as  "underdogs" of the UN.  

He advised the African nations, as Modi did, to have a greater representation on the Security Council  to evoke all the members on problems the continent faces.

"We are saying that we demand equality... We are saying, let's amend the charter of the UN," Mugabe said.

During the Forum, Indian Prime Minister proposed to sustain cooperation with African nations to assist in handling their problems, ranging from issues such as terrorism and climate change, among other issues the continent is faced with.  

He offered $10 billion in concessional credit to Africa which $7.4 billion has already been received  from India with grant assistance of $600 million.

Modi also promised to help develop African agriculture using technology through forming a foundation.

"Africa has 60 percent of the world's arable land reserves, and just 10 percent of the global output. Agriculture in Africa can drive the continent's march to prosperity, and also support global food security," he said.

He also said that India would support the development of healthcare and affordable medicines to fight against deadly diseases in the continent.

"We will also collaborate to develop Indian and African treasures of traditional knowledge and medicines,” Modi said.

Drawing attention to the growing terror attacks in Africa, Indian leader called for cooperation to battle with the cruel terror organisations which have claimed tens of thousands of innocents lives through the continent.

"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," he said.

"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," he added.

The prime minister also said Africa and India should cooperate  to combat climate change.

"No one has done less to contribute to global warming than India and Africa. No one can be more conscious of climate change than Indians and Africans," he said.

"This is because we are the inheritors of nature's most precious gifts, and of traditions that respect them the most; and, our lives remain most connected to mother earth."

TRTWorld and agencies