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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 13.01.2015

His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations called on President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (January 13, 2015).

Welcoming the UN Secretary General to India, the President said the UN is in urgent need of reform for its own credibility and legitimacy of its decisions. The UN should play an effective role in all situations. A reformed and effective UN will be able to respond to the crises afflicting the world in a more decisive manner. The United Nations needs to represent the geo-political realities of today.

The President said it was true there are divergences on the reforms. But the UN has been created to iron out these divergences and find solutions acceptable to the large section of the international community. Reforms of the United Nations should be advanced at least in the 70thyear of the UN. India hopes and counts upon the UN Secretary General’s leadership and persuasive skills to steer the discussions for urgent reform of the UN.

Drawing attention to the recent terrorist incidents in Peshawar and Paris, the President said terrorism was no longer a debating issue. Terrorists engage in wanton destruction and show no respect for borders or values. The international community must assert itselfand tackle the problem of terrorism. The UN Secretary General should take the initiative in this regard.

The President expressed his happiness that the international community is working to finalise a set of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and a comprehensive post-2015 development agenda. He said tackling the issue of global warming or climate change requires both serious national action and genuine international collaboration. Despite huge development challenges, India is undertaking ambitious climate actions including through lowering of the energy intensity of its economic growth, increasing energy efficiency across sectors and making greater use of renewable energy.

Pointing out that India became a member of the UN in 1945 even before we attained independence, the President said Indian Armed Forces participate in 10 out of the 16 UN peacekeeping mission with 8000 plus troops and police personnel. India is firm in its commitment to the UN Charter and support of the UN system.

Responding to the President, the UN Secretary General said India is a critically importantglobal power. He has therefore visited the country regularly in order to forge a stronger partnership between the UN and India. He agreed that the international community should take firm action on the matter of terrorism. There was huge solidarity expressed by the world after the incident in Paris but committed action is even more important.

The UN Secretary General expressed appreciation for the contributions of India to peace keeping operations and the promotion of global democracy. He pointed out that India was the second largest donor to the Democracy Fund, next only to the United States. He also congratulated India for the measures being taken for gender empowerment and appreciated the fact that 25% of the Cabinet were women. He said he was aware of the aspirations of many countries including India for reforms of the UN and their desire to play a leadership role in the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council must become effective, representative, democratic and transparent.

This release issued at 1500 hrs.