New Delhi: Britain and India made their case for reform of the United Nations Security Council on Monday, arguing its credibility was at stake if it did not bring new players on to the world stage.
Speaking after talks in New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and British premier Gordon Brown both called for India to have a seat at the UN Security Council because of its growing economic and diplomatic clout.
“I think that there is a broad agreement that international institutions, if they are to be credible, cannot ignore countries like India and China,” Singh said, saying both were giving a “major stimulus” to the world economy.
Serious business: PM Manmohan Singh with his British counterpart Gordon Brown in New Delhi on Monday.
“You cannot deal with global problems and global concerns if countries like India are not on the high table.”
Brown, who earlier Monday sketched out his vision for reform of world bodies, including the UN, World Bank, G8 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), agreed.
At a news conference, he failed to answer a question about whether attempts at reform were doomed to failure without discussion of a similar role for a major Islamic country, and admitted there could be opposition.
But Brown added:“ A country of one billion people, that’s the fastest growing economy, that’s ready to assume its rightful place in the world should have its place on the UN Security Council as it reforms.”
Brown had earlier told business leaders changes should be inspired by the post-war “visionaries” who set up the United Nations and other bodies such as the IMF and World Bank.
But he said the “new world order” should be more representative of what he called “the biggest shift in the balance of economic power in the world in two centuries”—the Asian economic boom of countries like India.
Among Brown’s proposals are making the World Bank “an environmental bank” to tackle climate change and more proactive work by the IMF to spot and intervene in financial crises like that affecting Britain’s Northern Rock bank.
And he had also called for a new standby civilian force to go into failed states under the auspices of the UN to work in tandem with international peacekeepers.