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External Affairs Minister's speech at launch of WFUNA Foundation India in New Delhi (March 3, 2015)

March 03, 2015

Hon’ble Members of the Advisory Board and Trustees of WFUNA Foundation,

Mrs. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman, Director, United Nations Information Center for India & Bhutan,

Mr. Suresh Srivastava, Secretary General, Indian Federation of United Nations Association of India,

Friends,

It is a pleasure to be present here today at the launch ceremony of the WFUNA Foundation in India.

WFUNA was founded on the noble belief that all people are interconnected through the UN’s core values. I am happy to note that the efforts of WFUNA, since its establishment in 1946, have been directed towards building a stronger and effective United Nations through the engagement of people at large.

It is also very timely that we are launching the India Chapter of the WFUNA Foundation in the 70thAnniversary year of the United Nations. This is an important milestone which should trigger serious reflection upon the performance of the world body and its specialized agencies in carrying out their duties. The question we need to ask is whether the UN is still ‘fit for purpose’?

It is our strong belief that the UN as a representative organization of the comity of nations should reflect contemporary geopolitical and economic realities. That is why India is today at the forefront of efforts for UN reform, including expansion of the Security Council in both the permanent and non - permanent categories, to make it more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thereby further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy of its decisions. We believe that there must be a concrete outcome on this long standing issue in the 70thAnniversary year of the UN.

2015 also promises to be historic because a series of complex multilateral negotiating processes are coming for adoption in the course of this year. It would be important and relevant for organizations like WFUNA to reflect the views and aspirations of developing countries in their work as we prepare ourselves to adopt a transformative Post 2015 Development Agenda and an equitable and ambitious climate change agreement for the post 2020 period. It is clear that both are common challenges and require genuine collaboration overcoming competitive urges. Both also offer the serious opportunity for mankind to make a transition to more equitable and sustainable ways of living and working.

I believe that it is not only the obligation of the member states to support the UN in meeting theglobal challenges and creating opportunities for all but a shared responsibility of all stakeholders. Organizations like WFUNA have been contributing meaningfully towards that end. In this context, the thrust of WFUNA’s programs on the issues of sustainable development, education, youth and human rights are issues which the Government of India considers extremely important, both in the national and international context.

I am confident that the setting up of the WFUNA Foundation in India will go a long way in accomplishing its mission of a stronger and more effective United Nations so that this unique organisation continues to be relevant to the hopes and aspirations of mankind in the years ahead.

Thank you.

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