Lok Sabha Speaker calls for reforms in United Nations

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today called for democratisation of the United Nations.

He was welcoming a ten-member Swedish Parliamentary Delegation led by Speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) Per Westerberg.

Addressing the Swedish delegation, Mr Chatterjee stressed the need to make the world body a truly representative institution.

The Lok Sabha Speaker emphasised on constructive engagement between the Parliaments of India and Sweden.

Mr Chatterjee, referring to the convergence of outlook and approach, said, such cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral fora would give an impetus to their relationship in various fields.

Referring to the success of democratic experiment in India, the Lok Sabha Speaker lauded the role of the people of India, particularly the peasantry and working class, who first fought for the freedom of the country and subsequently contributed substantially to the process of nation-building.

India's inherent strength and resilience emanated from its legacy of tolerance and its firm faith in the ideals of dissent and diversity.

Making a mention of the election process in India, Mr Chatterjee hailed the active and enthusiastic participation of the people in the electoral process. In this regard, he referred to the just concluded elections in Tripura and said the record 91 per cent turn out of the 2.2 million voters at the hustings was unprecedented and was much higher than many of the developed countries.

Lamenting the low representation of women in legislative bodies in the country, he expressed optimism that their participation in the political process, including in the legislative bodies, would increase sooner than later.

He also highlighted the importance of youth in India's rise as an economic and political power and stressed that more efforts needed to be made to take the full advantage of their matchless vigour and energy.

Mr Westerberg, responding to the observations of Mr Chatterjee, pointed out that parliamentary exchanges could broaden discussions among parliamentarians between the two countries. With regard to the bilateral trade between the two countries, he felt that there was a ''win-win'' situation and that while India could import investment goods from Sweden, it could export consumer goods to Sweden.

Referring to India's success in conflict management, he said Sweden could learn from this significant achievement of the world's largest democracy.

The Swedish Delegation later called on Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi who apprised the visiting dignitaries of the functioning of the Parliamentary system in India.

Mr Dasmunsi also gave them an overview of the committee system in Indian Parliament as well as the role of the Speaker. The two sides discussed the areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries and shared policy perspective on issues having global import.

The visiting dignitaries appreciated the faster pace of economic growth of Indian economy.

UNI BKS SHB ND1734

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