India favours multi-polar world
New Delhi, October 18
Delivering the ninth Field Marshal Cariappa memorial lecture on “India and the emerging world order”, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha expressed hope that the menace of terrorism, which threatened most of the world, would soon end and extremist groups would resolve their grievances through the democratic framework.
In an apparent reference to follow the ‘live and let live’ policy, the External Affairs Minister also asked the USA to allow others also to prosper.
The USA must realise that it also required the rest of the world in order to maintain its prosperity, and in this, it should allow the others to achieve prosperity as well, the minister added.
However, he pointed out that it was important to distinguish between US power and unilateralism, which necessarily did not lead to each other, even as he termed “inadvisable” countering the US power through balance of power, based on countervailing military strength or confrontation.
“These are outmoded concepts and the Cold War has proved the utter futility of such confrontation,” Mr Sinha said.
He, however, added that some of the US views were in consonance with India’s vision of a multi-polar world. “US Secretary of State Powell, in a recent speech, emphasised the need for partnership to replace confrontation and I have no difficulty in endorsing his view”, Mr Sinha added.
In an apparent reference to India’s continuous effort to get a permanent seat on the UN security Council, he pointed out that the “reconfiguration and reform” of the Security Council was essential. This, he said, was necessary not merely to reflect changed realities but also to manage the collective security challenges of the future.
Pointing out that India was a ‘microcosm’ of the globe, because of its sub-continental size and population amounting to nearly a sixth of humanity, Mr Sinha said India’s strength laid in several fields.
The country had shown to the world that it was fully conscious of its responsibilities as a state possessing nuclear weapons and had refrained from ‘brinkmanship’, despite the gravest of cross-border provocations, he said.
He also pointed out that the world now had a greater understanding of the compulsions behind India’s nuclear tests and added that there was also the realisation that a secure and stable India would be an asset to the emerging world order.
Drawing attention to India’s achievements the External Affairs Minister said that it was now one of the six fastest growing economies of the world and was ranked fourth in terms of ‘purchasing power parity’. He also pointed out the strengths of the Indian economy, which he said were not confined just to information and bio-technology but also included the auto, steel, space and other cutting-edge fields.
India had an abundance of diverse natural resources, sound economic, industrial and market fundamentals, with the second largest pool of scientific and technical manpower in virtually every field, the Minister said and added that the phase of liberalisation in India had entered its second decade.
“This is the phase of consolidation, backed by strong democratic consensus. We can take legitimate pride in our achievements thus far, while renewing our determination that we will not let this momentum to slip,” he asserted.
Calling globalisation the current trend, he said it was his view that it would intensify further, with technology making the process more inevitable.
India believed it was well placed to contribute to globalisation as well as to reap its benefits, Mr Sinha said and pointed out that the country had adjusted its internal reforms to conform to this phenomenon.
Affirming that India’s “constructive contribution” to the process was well recognised, he said the time for a “reform” of globalisation itself had come.
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