Pranab wants push for U.N. reforms

HONOURED:Pranab Mukherjee being honoured by Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (right) with the National Order of the Republic of Ivory Coast, in Abidjan on Tuesday.— PHOTO: PTI  

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday made out a strong case for a “concerted push” to make the United Nations more democratic and representative at the annual session of its general assembly scheduled for September, maintaining that any further delay would rob the process of its grace.

Mr. Mukherjee raised the issue of U.N. reforms at a meeting with President of Cote D’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara. In his talks, the President regretted that unlike the U.N., the Bretton Woods institutions (such as IMF and World Bank) that were created around the same time seven decades ago had become more inclusive bodies, reflecting the changing world order.

‘India ready to help’

“We both recognise the imperatives of strengthening the U.N. system and other international organisations. We would like to see them reformed so that they remain effective in addressing the challenges that confront the world today. In this context, India stands ready to shoulder greater responsibilities in the specialised organs of the U.N., particularly its Security Council”, Mr. Mukherjee told his counterpart at a banquet in his honour.

Cote D’Ivoire (also known as Ivory Coast), a francophone country, is the biggest producer and exporter of cashew nuts to India which procures nearly 80 per cent of their total exports.

“The Ivory Coast government is very keen to get Indian private sector on board... Another sector he was proudly mentioning was that of chocolates. They produce cocoa. He says the Indian private sector could be useful as they export everything,” Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, told the media about the delegation-level talks. Mr. Mukherjee was decorated with National Grand Croix, Cote D’Ivoire’s highest honour.