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PM: Reforms to UNSC vital for equitable world

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Jaipur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that reforms to UN Security Council were vital for a more equitable world and the draft presented by the president of the UN General Assembly should be adopted as the negotiating text. He said the negotiations should be completed before the next session of the general assembly.

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In his closing remarks at Summit of Forum for India Pacific Island Countries here, Modi said India would establish at least one information technology laboratory in each of the Pacific Ocean island countries and would like to shape its bilateral cooperation according to their needs. “As I mentioned in my opening remarks, reforms of the UN Security Council is in global interest and vital for a more inclusive and equitable world.

“We should quickly adopt the draft presented by the president of the general assembly as the negotiating text and conclude negotiations during the 70th session of the general assembly,” the prime minister said. He said India would remain very sensitive to concerns of Pacific island countries in international forums. “We would also like to shape our bilateral cooperation in accordance with your needs and priorities. Modi said combating climate change was India’s national priority but national action will succeed only through a strong international partnership. He said India was keen to establish an institute for sustainable coastal and ocean research in the region and a network of marine biology research stations in various island nations. “We could begin immediately with research collaboration and capacity building with institutions in India. We also propose to hold an international conference on ‘Ocean economy and Pacific Island Countries’ in New Delhi in 2016,” he said.

Modi said India would be pleased to create capacity in the island states to deal with natural disasters, including through human resource development and application of space technology for early warning system and incident response. “I am pleased to announce that we will establish at least one information technology laboratory in each pacific island country. This will not only improve local IT infrastructure, it will enable us to fulfill our commitment to provide tele-medicine and tele-education to the people,” he said.

(IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi arrives in South Africa, will address an Indian diaspora rally in Johannesburg

India and Mozambique signed three agreements, including a long-term one on the purchase of pulses

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Narendra Modi. Image source: Wikipedia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, July 7, arrived in South Africa from Mozambique on the second leg of his four-nation African tour.

“Second leg of PM’s Africa tour begins in South Africa. PM lands in Pretoria,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Nkoana Mashabane and Minister for Small Business Lindiwe Zulu welcomed Modi at Air Force Base, Waterkloof, in Pretoria.

On Friday, July 9, Modi will hold talks with South African President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria and later address an India-South Africa business meeting.

 Jacob ZumaImage source: malawi24.com
Jacob ZumaImage source: malawi24.com

He will visit the Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and then the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

In the evening, he will address an Indian diaspora rally in Johannesburg following which he will leave for Durban.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister will visit Mahatma Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement in Durban and undertake a train journey to Pietermaritzburg in memory of the 1893 incident when Gandhi was thrown off a train carriage on account of his skin colour.

He will also attend a reception to be hosted by the Mayor of Durban.

Modi arrived in Mozambique on Thursday morning, July 7, on the first leg of his African sojourn.

India and Mozambique signed three agreements, including a long-term one on the purchase of pulses.

Apart from Mozambique and South Africa, Modi will also visit Tanzania and Kenya. (IANS)

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India is Confident of China’s Support for Nuclear Group Membership

China said, "large differences" remain over the issue of countries that have not signed the NPT joining the NSG

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Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses a press conference in New Delhi, India, June 19, 2016. Image source: AP
  • New Delhi has overcome resistance from several countries such as Mexico and Switzerland
  • China is not opposing India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, but that it has raised objections relating to criteria and processes
  • With backup from US, India is lobbying hard before a key meeting in Seoul on June 23 to gain entry into the elite club

India is optimistic that China will not block its bid for membership of the Nuclear Supplier Group, the 48 countries controlling nuclear commerce and sensitive technology.  With the backing of the United States, India has been lobbying hard before a key meeting in Seoul on June 23 to gain entry into the elite club.

In recent weeks, New Delhi has overcome resistance from several countries such as Mexico and Switzerland, but Beijing is on the frontline of a tiny group of countries that continue to express reservations about opening the NSG’s doors to India because it has not signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Talking to reporters on Sunday, June 19, India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj appeared confident of overcoming Chinese resistance.  “We are hopeful that we will be successful in getting China’s support,” she said.

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Swaraj told reporters that China is not opposing India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, but that it has raised objections relating to criteria and processes.  “In India’s case, instead of criteria, its credentials should be taken into account,” she said.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi arrives for a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (not pictured) at the Nuclear Security Summit, Friday, April 1, 2016, in Washington. Image source: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi arrives for a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (not pictured) at the Nuclear Security Summit, Friday, April 1, 2016, in Washington. Image source: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP

India’s top diplomat conveyed that message to China during an unexpected visit Saturday, June 18, to woo Beijing.

China has said that “large differences” remain over the issue of countries that have not signed the NPT joining the NSG.

But an optimistic Swaraj expressed hope that “consensus is being built and maybe no country will break this consensus and we will get membership of NSG.”

Some controls

Although New Delhi has not signed the NPT, it has committed to some controls on its nuclear program under a 2008 deal with the United States. That deal effectively ended the isolation imposed on India since a 1998 nuclear test and gave it access to nuclear fuel and technology.

Analysts say, India’s dream of getting membership of the elite club is more about gaining a seat at the nuclear high table as it seeks to raise its global profile than any actual benefits.  They point out that New Delhi already has deals with more than eight countries either for supplies of uranium or for building power plants.

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Opponents say giving India membership will undermine efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, which the NSG aims to do by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make arms.  It will also infuriate arch-rival Pakistan, which has also made a bid for membership of the NSG.

Asked whether China was linking India’s membership of the nuclear group with that of Pakistan, Swaraj said that each country’s membership should be decided on merit. (VOA)

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PM Modi to attend Nuclear Security Summit, reaches US

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Image source: soulsteer.com

Washington, DC: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington, DC early Thursday to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit where world leaders from over 50 countries are expected to share their assessment of the threat from nuclear weapons and materials.

During his two-day stay in Washington,DC, Modi is scheduled to interact with a number of world leaders including the US President Barack Obama.

Attending the Nuclear Security Summit for the first time, Modi is expected to lay out his vision of securing nuclear weapons.

This is Modi’s third visit to the US and second to Washington since becoming prime minister in 2014.

In September 2014, Modi visited US and had a meeting with Obama at the White House. He made his second trip to the US a year later which took him to New York and Silicon Valley.

While the details of his schedule in Washington have not been released yet, the prime minister is expected to hold a series of meetings throughout the day, which range from bilaterals with heads of state to community leaders, to scientists and top executives from the corporate world.

Modi is scheduled to hold a meeting with Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key later on Thursday and meet with scientists from Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory.

Even as he has no public engagement with the Indian American community, which has been a trademark of his overseas trips, a large number of Indian Americans from in and around Washington said they would be standing outside his hotel, despite tight security, to get a glimpse of Modi.

The official summit engagement of the prime minister would begin in the evening when he would drive down to the White House to attend a dinner hosted by Obama in honour of the world leaders attending the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.

No Modi-Obama bilateral meeting has been announced yet from either side, but the two leaders are expected to get multiple opportunities for interaction and talks over the next two days.

“The summit would deliberate on the crucial issue of threat to nuclear security caused by nuclear terrorism. Leaders would discuss ways and measure through which to strengthen the global nuclear security architecture, especially to ensure that non-state actors do not get access to nuclear material,” Modi had said in a statement before leaving on the current three-nation tour of Belgium, the US and Saudi Arabia.

Joint Secretary (Disarmament & International Security Affairs) Amandeep Singh Gill said during the summit India’s written National Progress Report would be circulated at the summit.

The prime minister would intervene in this discussion on national actions to underline some of the important measures we have taken to strengthen nuclear security.

“India expects that the summit would contribute further to raising high level awareness of the threat of nuclear terrorism and the need to strengthen international cooperation against terrorists and nuclear traffickers,” Gill said.

“We also expect that the summit would help bolster legal, institutional and enforcement measures to strengthen the security of nuclear material, radioactive sources, associated facilities and technologies,” he said.

Credits: Rediif news