India to continue coop in global war on terrorism: Pratibha Patil

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New Delhi, Sep 25: Saying that global partnership now needs to address the needs of developing countries, President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil today sounded a clarion call for making available greater financial and technological resources to them and taking on board their concerns at the Doha development round. 'At the Doha round of trade talks, the concerns of the developing countries should be taken on board. In the international financial institutions, the developing countries should have a greater role in the decision-making processes so as to address the issues of development at the global level. The global partnership now needs to deliver,' Ms Patil said, while inaugurating the 53rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference here.

The President also voiced her concern at the ''serious threat'' emanating from disruptive activities of terrorists who use modern technologies to set up extensive networks and kill innocent people.

''Terrorism has no justification whatsoever, and no cause can be served by shedding the blood of innocent people. It is imperative that we all take a firm and unequivocal stand against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,'' she said, while pledging India's continued support to strengthening international co-operation against terrorism.

Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Malaysian Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Dato' Seri Di Raja Ramli Ngah Talib were among those who addressed the plenary session of the conference, which will conclude on September 29.

A good part of the President's speech dealt with issues relating to global poverty.

Ms Patil said one-fifth of the world's population lived in hunger and abject poverty with an income of one dollar a day, 72 million children of primary school age were not in schools; half a million women died every year due to complexities during pregnancy and child birth; 2.1 billion people died from AIDS and 1.6 billion people lacked access to basic sanitation.

''Firm political will is required to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Financial resources and technologies need to be made available to meet the targets.''

Ms Patil highlighted the rapid strides made by India in its march towards a matured democracy and the economy growing at an impressive rate. She also spoke about the country's commitments to assisting poorer countries reach higher level of development. ''Though, itself a developing country, India has sought to extend support to other developing countries, particularly through technical and economic cooperation programmes, under which it has so far provided over two billion dollar worth of technical assistance.'' ''We seek to build friendship among nations and continue to work with regional parties under regional bodies and international communities for peace, progress and prosperity in the world, '' she said.

While expressing concern at the impact of climate change, the President said it called for efficient technologies, pollution control, water conservation, waste management and also fulfillment by countries of their respective international obligation.

''In India, we have a tradition to consider man as an integral part of the eco-system and therefore, inseparable from nature. To protect the environment as well as prevent pollution and degradation of natural resources, India has adopted effective national policies and also engaged with the international community in finding solutions to the challenges of climate change.'' Vice-President Ansari, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said it was incumbent on the international community to ensure that nobody was left behind in the era of globalisation.

''The greatest challenge before us today is how to make our Parliamentary institutions relevant in this era of globalisation.

The new global world order has to be built on the tenets of equity, harmony, tolerance, diversity and pluralism. Parliamentary institutions all over the world are under pressure to meet the challenges of sustainable development, inclusive growth and good governance,'' he said.

Mr Chatterjee said there was growing realisation that there was no better alternative to democracy for promoting good governance and for emancipating and empowering people.

At the same time, he regretted that lack of comprehensive development posed a grave threat to many democratic countries, including many in the Commonwealth.

''As people's representatives we will have to be accountable at all times to those from whom we derive our position and power. As such in a democracy the legislators must always remain accountable to the people and conform to highest ethical standards,'' he said.

About 600 delegates from 53 countries are participating in the week-long conference on the main theme 'Delivering Democracy and Sustainable Development.'


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