Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday called upon all nations to
address the multiple challenges the world is facing today, such as
economic slowdown, terrorism and unrest in West Asia and North
Africa, ahead of his visit to the UN.
"More than ever before, it is imperative for all countries to act
in concert to address these challenges. This is the time for
United Nations to resume its global leadership role," the prime
minister said in a statement ahead of his six-day visit from
"During my visit, I look forward to holding bilateral meetings
with the presidents of Iran, South Sudan and Sri Lanka, and the
prime ministers of Japan and Nepal," said the prime minister, off
to attend the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly.
His delegation includes External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna,
his Principal Secretary T.K.A. Nair, National Security Advisor
Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.
"The UN General Assembly is meeting this year at a time when the
world is faced with multiple challenges. The global economy is in
the midst of an economic slowdown coupled with all its attendant
problems, including inflationary pressures," the prime minister
"West Asia, North Africa and Gulf regions have seen major
upheavals and there is uncertainty about the shape of things to
come in this crucial part of the world in the period ahead. The
Palestine question remains unresolved," he said.
He also said terrorism and non-traditional threats to
international security, such as piracy, were threatening states
and the international political and social order and called for
collective action to address all these issues.
According to the prime minister, his latest visit to the UN also
comes against the backdrop of India once again becoming a
non-permanent member of the Security Council, since January this
year, after a gap of 19 years.
"Our efforts at promoting international peace and security and
bringing to bear a developing country perspective have, I believe,
enriched the Council's deliberations and enhanced its
effectiveness," he said.
"The United Nations must be seen as an impartial, credible and
effective body. I will stress the need for early reform of this
unique organization, particularly an expansion of its Security
The current UN session started Sep 13. This year, the general
debate and addresses by the heads of delegation is scheduled from
Set 21-Sep 30. The Indian prime minister is scheduled to address
the General Debate in the morning of Sep 24.