India asks Africa not to accept interim solutions on UN reform

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New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) India today cautioned Africa against accepting an interim solution to permanent membership of the UN Security Council and sought African countries' support on counter-terrorism, climate change and WTO.

''It is important that we work together to ensure that we move from the stage of discussions to negotiations on this vital issue (UN reforms). We must not allow ourselves to be led astray and be compelled to accept interim solution that would be to our detriment,'' External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his inaugutal address at the Foreign Ministerial meeting ahead of the first India-Africa Forum Summit here beginning tomorrow.

Later Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said India and Africa agreed to work for UN reforms to make it truly representative in character and democratic in composition.

This was agreed to at a day-long meeting of Foreign Ministers of 14 African countries ahead of the first ever India-Africa Forum Summit beginning here tomorrow.

Briefing reporters on the day-long deliberations of the Foreign Ministerial meeting, Mr Sharma said it was also agreed to work for reform of international financial bodies like the World Bank and the IMF.

''Both (sides) agreed that multi-national organisations are in need of reform. The UN reforms must be all encompassing to make it truly representative and democratic in character,'' he said.

''India and Africa also agreed that other institutions like the IMF and World Bank need to change to consider to consider the attendant political and economic architecture of the world,'' he said in reply to a question.

The External Affairs Minister said in his inaugural address that India had always been supportive of Africa's representation as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Calling for 'zero tolerance' and strengthening of institutional cooperation against terrorism, the Minister expressed concern that the tentacles of this scourge were reaching Africa.

On climate change, the Minister said it was imperative that strategies to address the issue did not add greater burden or impose further conditions on the development of developing countries.

Long-term convergence of per capita emissions of developed and developing countries was an important principle deserving serious consideration inthe context of international climate change negotiations.

''It is imperative that India and Africa work closely together, including in the NAM/G-77 framework in the climate change negotiatins,'' he added.

He called for sustaining the developmental dimension of the Doha Round of negotiations and stressed the importance of maintaining and strengthening the engagement, solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.

He asserted that any acceptable agreement must adequately protect the livelihood, food security and rural development concerns of developing countries.

''The developed world must bring about significant and effective reduction in trade-distorting domestic support and subsidies. There can be no artificial deadlines. The promise of this being a development round must be fully realised,'' the Minister said.

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