Jakarta: India today thwarted attempts by Pakistan and China to remove a crucial line on the United Nations from a declaration adopted by Asian African Summit here. Over 100 countries from Asia and Africa adopted two declarations — Bandung message 2015 and “Reinvigorating the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP)” — with both calling for reforms in the world body.
Diplomatic sources said Pakistan and China were lobbying hard to remove a line from the NAASP declaration but India with the help of African countries blocked that attempt. The line “A reformed Security Council will significantly increase representation of Asia and Africa” was retained in the declaration which was adopted by the Summit, the sources said.
“Reiterating the principle and benefits of multilateralism, we resolve to further strengthen and support the United Nation and other multilateral and regional forums so they work more effectively towards strengthening peace and prosperity in Asia and Africa as well as other regions,” it said.
“We call for continued efforts to reform the United Nations, including the revitalisation of the General Assembly and a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, which corresponds to the collective interests of the developing countries,” it added.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is leading the Indian delegation here, had a busy schedule today as she held detailed bilateral meetings with Prime Minister of Palestine Rami Hamdallah and Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. The Asian African Conference has been organised by Indonesia to mark the 60th Anniversary of the historical 1955 Bandung conference, which became the stepping stone for setting up the Non-Aligned Movement during Cold War-era.
The 1955 conference led by Indonesia’s independence hero Sukarno galvanised global stalwarts like Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whose famous ‘Panchsheel’ doctrine was incorporated in 10 principles of international peace and cooperation in the declaration.
The declaration of NAASP lauded India’s engagement with Africa and Asia towards their economic development, infrastructure up-gradation, capacity building, and maritime security.