Showcasing India’s economic growth and clout, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that “a fast-growing India can expand the boundaries of global economy.”
Despite a global financial crunch, India is growing at close to 8 per cent, second only to China.
Addressing the UNGA after a gap of three years, the PM said trends in US, Japan and Europe are “affecting confidence in world financial and capital markets.”
Singh said declining global demand and availability of capital, increasing trade barriers and mounting debts are threatening the international system.
“Questions are being asked about the efficacy of the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and World Bank),” he told the UNGA.
The prime minister warned against protectionist measures as a response to the global economic crisis, which he said has “deepened even further,” since 2008, “in many respects.”
Calling for better coordination of macro economic policies of major economies, Singh said: “We should not allow the global economic slowdown to become a trigger for building walls around ourselves through protectionism or erecting barriers to movement of people, services and capital.”Singh, widely considered a votary of globalisation, called the attention of world leaders to its flipside.
“Today we are being called upon to cope with the negative dimensions of... globalisation and global interdependence."
He said the world had taken for granted the benefits of globalisation and it is time the UN asserted its development agenda to “ensure balanced, inclusive and sustainable development for vast sections of humanity.”
Singh also made a pitch for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council for India, calling for “reform and expansion of the Council to reflect contemporary reality… and enhance its credibility”.
The PM also made a strong rebuttal of the Western military intervention in Libya to dislodge Muammar Gaddafi, saying “societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force.”
India has been critical of military attacks under the ‘right to protect’ doctrine that allows international intervention to protect civilians even at the cost of national sovereignty.
The NATO-led attacks on Libya in March was the first time the 2005-doctrine played out in a conflict theatre.