Global Policy Forum

Reform Global Governance Structures, India urges NAM

Regrouping almost two thirds of UN members, the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) is holding its 16th summit this year in Tehran. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon decided to attend despite calls from the United States and Israel to boycott the meeting. The NAM was a creation of the Cold War era as an alternative to the two blocks, and observers have questioned the relevance of this institution over the past 20 years. Yet this year’s summit seems to draw particular attention, not only because it is held in Iran, but also as it represents a unique platform for developing countries to raise their voice. It is to this end that India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on the NAM to “take the lead” in reforming the United Nations’s system in order to create “global governance structures that are representative, credible and effective”. But will their voice be heard?

August 30, 2012

Admitting to deficits in global governance, India Thursday called on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to "take the lead" in reforming international institutions like the UN, even as it urged member states to tackle problems by "developing solutions that are best suited to our own circumstances".

Addressing the 16th NAM summit here, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also sought immediate steps to reduce tensions in global hotspots like West Asia and North Africa.

NAM summit represents 120 countries.

According to Manmohan Singh, "the deficit in global governance is perhaps most stark in the sphere of international peace and security and in restoring just and fair economic mechanisms".

"Our movement should take the lead in building global governance structures that are representative, credible and effective," he said, adding it was his "sincere hope" there can be agreement "on action to reform institutions such as the United Nations Security Council, the World Bank and the IMF".

"Existing problems cannot be solved effectively without a greater voice for developing countries on issues such as global trade, finance and investment," Manmohan Singh said.

Noting in this context that developing countries can be "drivers of global growth", he said that international financial institutions should be encouraged to fund infrastructure development in the developing world "in innovative ways".

"We should also urge that the current economic crisis should not lead to a dilution of development assistance flows from the developed world," Manmohan Singh cautioned.

Pointing to the other tasks ahead for NAM members, the prime minister urged them to collaborate "in tackling problems and developing solutions that are best suited to our own circumstances".

"For example, the developing world is rich in renewable sources of energy like solar power. We should use our financial and intellectual resources to develop renewable energy technologies that get less attention in the industrialised world where the resource base is different. Adoption of these technologies will also enable us to contribute to preservation of the environment.

"We can learn from each other in this effort," the prime minister added.

Similarly, food security is a "basic problem" for many NAM-member countries as excessive speculation, structural bottlenecks and lack of coordination "are fuelling food inflation at the global level", Manmohan Singh said.

"Our movement should push for effective food policy coordination and cooperation at the global level in areas such as agricultural productivity, weather forecasting and research and development," he added.

Manmohan Singh also focused on the need to invest in the knowledge economy and building human resources so that the youth, when faced with "our unique developmental challenges", have the creativity and energy to find solutions "that are innovative, frugal and affordable".

"We need to provide them skills and equip them to find productive employment in a rapidly changing and inter-connected global economy," the prime minister said. India would be happy to contribute to a NAM initiative on skill development, particularly focused on the knowledge economy.


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