President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus committed his country's support for India's bid for United Nations Security Council membership during his meeting here on Monday with visiting Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Mr. Klaus also appreciated India's requirement of facilitating mobility of people and goods between the two countries for better trade and commerce. The Czech Republic has already invested in Skoda Auto and entered into joint ventures with Tatra Vectra Motors Limited and Jawa-Yezdi motorcycles. The Bata shoe company originated in erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

Describing the 30-minute meeting, held in the famed Prague Castle, as marked by warmth and cordiality, Secretary (West) of the Ministry of External Affairs said: “Both leaders expressed a strong desire to enhance the contents of the relationship. They discussed collaboration in science and technology and IT and also discussed giving a new direction to the cultural ties. The Vice-President was accompanied by Minister of State Sachin Pilot and the rest of the Indian delegation.”

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had visited Prague twice — in 1921 and 1926. Professor Vincenc Lesny of the Charles University was the first European to have translated Tagore's verses directly from Bengali to Czech. The two leaders recalled the formation of an Indian Association in Prague in 1934 as part of the Oriental Institute, in a meeting chaired by Professor Lesny. Among those who attended the meeting was Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who was visiting erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

“Geography and history have bestowed on Prague a centrality that is evident. It has, for centuries, witnessed ideological and political contestations in central Europe and is today an active participant in the making of a new Europe,” Mr. Ansari said later in his address on ‘Challenges of Global Governance in the 21st Century' at the Prague Security Studies Institute.

“Both of our countries are blessed with vibrant democratic polities and dynamic economies. Our peoples and leaders are committed to peace, freedom and justice for all. Our mutual cooperation and our role in the various regional and global groupings would substantially contribute to better profiles of global governance in this century.

“However, no discussion of global governance in the contemporary context would be complete without attention being paid to what has been called the ‘Hydra-Headed Crisis' confronting the world with reference to overlapping, even interlinked, economic and financial, security, and environmental threats that have emerged so sharply in the past year or so. They are interlinked and impact the capacity of players on the global stage. They also reflect on national and global governance, demonstrate the limitations of national governance and the inadequacy of existing global mechanisms.”

The experience only reiterates “the imperative need” for restructuring institutions of global governance to make them more representative, more effective and more dedicated to the common, rather than sectional good, he underscored.

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