"It is indeed an irony and a continuing question on the credibility of the Security Council's representativeness to not have the whole continent of Africa represented in the permanent category of membership, inspite of nearly 75 percent of its work being focussed on Africa alone," India's Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said in United Nations on Friday.

She was speaking in the UN General Assembly debate on 'New Partnership for Africa's Development'. She said India's partnership with Africa has the potential to strengthen global governance systems and democratize multilateral institutions.

"We along with our African friends, continue to impress upon the need for urgent reforms of the Security Council and addressing historical injustices by making it reflective of contemporary realities," Kaur said. Kaur is part of a delegation of ministers and members of Parliament from visiting the UN to participate in various sessions.

Kaur said the year 2015 would marks the 70th anniversary for the United Nations and 10 years following the 2005 World Summit mandate by heads of states and governments to achieve early reforms. The occasion would be befitting opportunity to "deliver concrete outcomes on our pledged commitment to reforming institutions of global governance."

Kaur noted that despite positive strides, serious challenges remain before the African continent can achieve all round development and prosperity. She said extreme poverty, hunger, lack of adequate nutrition and conflicts continue to plague development in Africa.

Kaur pointed out that global assistance to Africa has declined to USD 125.9 billion in 2012 from USD 133.7 billion the previous year. Persistently high unemployment threatens to undermine the recent gains made towards social development and derail the progress towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

"It is imperative that the international community remains resolute in its support for Africa through sustained cooperation including transfer of technology, resources and an enabling international environment and immediately address this gaping gap between promise and delivery on pledged commitments," she added.

She said India is committed to assisting Africa in areas of human resources, institutional capacity building, education, science and technology, agricultural productivity, industrial growth and infrastructure. India is also extending concession finance to develop social and economic infrastructure.

Over the last decade, 170 Lines of Credit for an amount of USD 9.7 billion have been allocated, of which USD 5.8 billion was allocated for African countries.


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