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Democracy and development go hand in hand: Tharoor

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) Citing India as an example, UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor today said the United Nations cannot impose democracy on unwilling countries but will certainly help in facilitating democratic institutions in the event of a request from any nation.

Mr Tharoor was speaking at a seminar on 'Democracy and Development -- A UN View', organised by the Aspen Institute India in association with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here today.

Referring to historical examples of autocratic regimes making economic progress, Mr Tharoor said he did not think the democratic process slowed down development because of the compromise involved.

''Human Rights, development and political freedom, all form part of the essential ingredients of democracy,'' he said.

He emphasised that the United Nations could not by itself change regimes and bring about democracy on unwilling countries and asserted that it had to come from within.

Mr Tharoor said, India with its multi-lingual and cultural diversity had managed robust economic growth and had also provided spiritual leadership to the world through icons like Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

Referring to China which had made tremendous economic progress despite having a Communist regime he said, ''I have visited China many times in the last seven-eight years and I can say that winds of change are sweeping China even though it would be too hasty to say that they are ready for a change in the form of Government.'' UNI SS SR RS1949

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