New York: As the global financial crisis deepened, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said a fast growing India can help the world economy, around which no protectionist barriers should be erected.
     
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Singh said India wants to quicken the pace of its transformation in partnership with the international community.
    
"A fast growing India can expand the boundaries for the global economy," he said, adding developing countries need investment, technology and market access for their products.
    
Despite global headwinds, Indian economy has been expanding close to 8 per cent, the second fastest growth in the world after China.
    
In the backdrop of protectionist measures in several developed countries, Singh called upon the international community not to let economic slowdown trigger barriers to movement of people, services and capital.

"We should not allow the global economic slowdown to become a trigger for building walls around ourselves through protectionism or erecting barriers ...," he said.
    
Singh said the world economy is in trouble. "The shoots of recovery which were visible after the economic and financial crisis of 2008 have yet to blossom. In many respects the crisis has deepened even further," he said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the need for reform of governance systems of international financial institutions, stating "deficit in global governance" was one of the several things which can be done collectively.

Expressing concern over the world economy being in trouble, the Prime Minister said the recessionary trends in the US, Europe and Japan are affecting confidence in world financial and capital markets.
    
He said these developments are bound to have a negative impact on developing countries which have to bear the additional burden of inflationary pressures.
    
His comments come in the backdrop of India battling a near double-digit inflation, which has been exasperated by a sharp fall in rupee value, pushing up the landed cost of commodity imports, including the crude oil.
    
Singh said a spiral in energy and food prices are introducing instability, especially for the developing countries.
    
"There are still millions living in poverty across the world. Their plight has worsened, for no fault of theirs, due to the global economic and financial crisis of the recent years. The actions of governments around the world are, therefore, under close scrutiny," he said.
    
Referring to India's progress, he said in the last few decades tens of millions of people have been lifted out of abject poverty, "we are in a position to feed our population better, to educate them better and to widen their economic choices. But we still have a very long way to go".

PM for unrelenting fight against terrorism

Pitching strongly for an "unrelenting" fight against terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said there cannot be "selective approaches" in dealing with the scourge that needed to be fought across all fronts.

Addressing the UN General Assembly here, he noted that terrorism continues to rear its ugly head and take a grievous toll on innocent lives.

"Developing countries need a peaceful external environment to grow," Singh told the world leaders assembled for the annual meet.

"The fight against terrorism must be unrelenting. There cannot be selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or the infrastructure of terrorism. Terrorism has to be fought across all fronts," he said.

While delving upon the continued threat posed by terrorism, the Prime Minister referred to the assassination of Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and said it was a "chilling reminder of the designs of the enemies of peace" in Afghanistan.

He said it was essential that the process of nation- building and reconciliation in Afghanistan succeeds, which was vital for enduring peace and security in the region.

"India will play its part in helping the people of Afghanistan to build a better future for themselves, just as we are doing in other countries in South Asia," he said, adding, "We will do so because prosperity and stability in our region are indivisible."

The Prime Minister said India wishes to see "an open, inclusive and transparent architecture of regional cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and peaceful settlement of disputes".

He said there were "encouraging signs" of cooperation in the area of security in South Asia, "exemplified in India's cooperation with Bangladesh".

Such cooperation is adding to the security of both the countries, Singh said.

While talking about international security concerns, he said new threats like sea piracy had emerged and pressed the United Nations to evolve a "comprehensive and effective" response to it.

He mentioned the problem in the context of piracy in Red Sea and off the coast of Somalia and said India, as a littoral state of the Indian Ocean, is ready to work with other countries in this regard.

"At a time when the world needs more international commerce, the sea lanes of communication across the Indian Ocean are under siege. Acts of piracy are being carried out with impunity from lands that are beyond the writ of any functioning state or international accountability," he said.

The international community should continue with efforts to restore stability in Somalia, Singh said.

India will pursue N-energy only after full satisfaction: PM

Amid concerns over the safety of atomic plants, Manmohan Singh made it clear that India will pursue nuclear energy after "full satisfaction" about this aspect and is ready to work with IAEA to enhance safety and security levels.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly here, Singh said the country has undertaken a thorough review of the safety of nuclear plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March this year.

"Our plans for utilizing nuclear power to meet our energy needs hinge upon full satisfaction about the safety of nuclear energy. We have undertaken a thorough review of the safety of our nuclear plants," he told the gathering.

"We support international efforts under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency to enhance levels of safety and security," the Prime Minister said.

His comments come in the wake of protests in Kudankulam and Jaitapur where people have raised concerns over the safety of the nuclear power plants.

Over 100 people in Kudankulam went on fast demanding scrapping of the nuclear power plant over safety concerns.

Singh observed that nuclear proliferation continues to remain a threat to international security.

"The Action Plan put forward by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free and Non-Violent World provides a concrete road map for achieving nuclear disarmament in a time-bound, universal, non-discriminatory, phased and verifiable manner," he said.

PM calls for UNSC expansion

Manmohan Singh made a powerful call for early reform and expansion of the UN Security Council "to reflect contemporary reality" and asked nations not to allow the global economic slowdown to trigger protectionism through various barriers.

Participating in the High Level Segment of the world body after a gap of three years, Singh made an address to the General Assembly in which he also made it clear that the fight against terrorism cannot be selective and has to be fought on all fronts.

After meetings of the G-4 countries including India, Brazil, German and Japan pushing for reform of the UNSC in which India wants to be a permanent member, the Prime Minister said the world needed a stronger and more effective UN.

"We need a United Nations that is sensitive to the aspirations of everyone - rich or poor, big or small. For this the United Nations and its principal organs, the General Assembly and the Security Council, must be revitalized and reformed."

"The reform and expansion of the Security Council are essential if it is to reflect contemporary reality. Such an outcome will enhance the Council's credibility and effectiveness in dealing with global issues. Early reform of the Security Council must be pursued with renewed vigour and urgently enacted," Singh said in his 15-minute address.

Singh said terrorism continued to rear its ugly head and take a grievous toll of innocent lives. "New threats to international security have emerged," he said and added "we will succeed if we adopt a cooperative rather than a confrontationist approach.

"We will succeed if we embrace once again the principles on which the UN was founded - internationalism and multilateralism."

In the midst of controversies raging over the issue of "interventions" in the trouble spots of the Middle East, Singh said the observance of the rule of law is as important in international affairs as it is within countries.

"Societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future," the Prime Minister said.

The international community, he said, has a role to play in assisting in the processes of transition and institution building but the idea that prescriptions have to be imposed from outside is fraught with danger.

"Actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states," he said.

As a seasoned economist whose views on international economy is much sought after in the global power corridors, Singh touched on the current situation saying the "world economy is in trouble".

"The shoots of recovery which were visible after the economic and financial crisis of 2008 have yet to blossom. In many respects the crisis has deepened even further."

Singh said the traditional engines of the global economy such as the US, Europe and Japan, which are also the sources of global economic and financial stability, are faced with continued economic slowdown. Recessionary trends in these countries were affecting confidence in world financial and capital markets.

These developments, he said, are bound to have a negative impact on developing countries which also have to bear the additional burden of inflationary pressures.

"Declining global demand and availability of capital, increasing barriers to free trade and mounting debt pose a threat to the international monetary and financial system. Questions are being asked about the efficacy of the Bretton Woods institutions," he said.

The Prime Minister said countries should not allow the global economic slowdown to become a trigger for building walls around themselves through protectionism or erecting barriers to movement of people, services and capital.

"Effective ways and means must be deployed to promote coordination of macroeconomic policies of major economies. The reform of governance systems of international financial institutions ought to be pursued with speed and efficiency," he said.

Singh said the development agenda must be brought firmly back to the centre stage of the United Nations' priorities.

"We need a much more determined effort to ensure balanced, inclusive and sustainable development for the benefit of vast sections of humanity. Each of us can contribute to this task but we can achieve far more if we act in partnership," he said.

"It is vitally important that through our actions and deeds we renew people's faith in the charter and objectives of the United Nations. I am confident we can do this through statesmanship, foresight and collective efforts, India stands ready to play its part in this noble endeavour," Singh said.

"We have to pay particular attention to Africa. Africa's richest resources are not its minerals but its people. We have to empower them and open the doors for them to human advances in technology, education and skill development," he said.

Singh said the United Nations should lead efforts in the area of food security. "We need more cooperation in agricultural technologies, water conservation, land usage and productivity and stability in commodity prices," he said.

Emphasizing on the need for a peaceful external environment to grow, he said the fight against terrorism must be unrelenting. There cannot be selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or the infrastructure of terrorism. Terrorism has to be fought across all fronts.

In South Asia, he said, there are encouraging signs of cooperation in the area of security as exemplified in India's cooperation with Bangladesh. Such cooperation is adding to the security of both our countries.

Singh said in the last few decades India has lifted tens of millions of its people out of abject poverty. "We are in a position to feed our population better, to educate them better and to widen their economic choices. But we still have a very long way to go," he said.

The Prime Minister said India would wish to quicken the pace of its transformation in partnership with the international community.

Singh said a fast-growing India can expand the boundaries for the global economy, and a plural and secular India can contribute to tolerance and peaceful co-existence among nations.

Singh said developing countries need investment, technology and market access for their products. They need assistance in the areas of education, health, women's empowerment and agriculture.

He said during the recently-held fourth UN-Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Conference, India has strengthened its partnership with the LDCs through significantly enhanced lines of credit and assistance in capacity building.

The Prime Minister said the perspectives that he had outlined today were the ones that guided India's actions in the Security Council since India became a non-permanent member of the Council in January this year.

"There are millions living in poverty. Their plight has worsened, for no fault of theirs, due to the global economic and financial crisis of the recent years. The actions of governments around the world are therefore under close scrutiny.

(Agencies)