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“A moral force for equitable transformation of today’s world” …
16 July 2009
India says financial crisis gives NAM new relevance
Sharm-el-Sheikh: Calling the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) a “moral force” for the equitable transformation of a world going through the worst economic crisis “in living memory,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the 118-nation grouping must ensure the steps planned to revive the global economy take into account the developing world’s concerns.
He was speaking at the NAM summit which got under way here on Wednesday.
Dr. Singh said the developing countries had been the hardest hit by the crisis which “emanated from the advanced industrial economies” and had strengthened protectionism and choked credit and capital flows to the third world. “If the aftermath of the crisis is not carefully managed, and if the abundance of liquidity leads to a revival of speculative activities, we may well see a period of prolonged stagflation,” the Prime Minister warned.
On climate change too, he blamed the “over two centuries of industrial activity and unsustainable lifestyles in the developed world” for the threat posed to the planet by the accumulation of greenhouse gases.
The weight of NAM should be used to achieve “a comprehensive, balanced and above all, equitable outcome” in the ongoing multilateral negotiations leading up to the Copenhagen conference in December this year.
The Prime Minister criticised the fact that “decision-making processes” at the United Nations and in international financial institutions “continue to be based on charters written more than 60 years ago, though the world has changed greatly since then.”
He said NAM should work to prioritise Africa’s problems in the global development agenda. On its part, India was committed to developing a comprehensive partnership with the continent.
Echoing the strong sentiment within NAM in support of Palestinian aspirations, the Prime Minister began his remarks by saying his “thoughts turn to the people of Palestine, who have endured great suffering and hardship.” “The movement,” he said, “must do more to facilitate a comprehensive, just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue.”
On terrorism, he stressed the long-standing Indian demand for speedy agreement on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. “Terrorists and those who aid and abet them must be brought to justice,” he said. “The infrastructure of terrorism must be dismantled and there should be no safe havens for terrorists because they do not represent any cause, group of religion.”