New Delhi: Making a fervant pitch for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, India Tuesday said it along with Africa comprising nearly 2.5 billion people "can no longer be excluded from their rightful place" in the world body.
"Although Indians and Africans comprise nearly 2.5 billion people, our nations continue to be excluded from appropriate representation in the institutions of global governance. India and Africa can no longer be excluded from their rightful place of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.
"How can we expect legitimacy from a governance structure that excludes the entire African continent and a country, which represents one-sixth of humanity?" she said, addressing the Ministerial Meeting of the 3rd India-Africa Summit here.
Noting that democratic reforms are essential in global institutions, Swaraj said the 70th session of the UN General Assembly is an opportune moment to achieve concrete results to resolve these long-pending issues.
"Unless we put in place more democratic global governance structures, the more equitable and just international security and development frameworks that are essential for the collective peace and prosperity of this planet, will continue to elude us.
"There can no longer be pockets of prosperity in vast areas of underdevelopment and insecurity," Swaraj said.
With both India and several African countries battling the menace of terrorism, the EAM batted for better cooperation through intelligence sharing, training and other measures to counter the problem.
"In view of the fast growing linkages of such terrorist groups across the globe, we must step up our cooperation through intelligence exchange, training and other measures to counter this menace. We also hope that the international community will cooperate with urgency to adopt the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism," she said.
Batting for enhanced partnership between India and Africa, Swaraj said the cooperation between the two, which extends to agriculture, education and skills development, energy and infrastructure, science and technology should now be enlarged to areas like Blue or Ocean economy, maritime security and counter-terrorism.
She noted that over 1,80,000 Indian troops have participated in UN peacekeeping missions -- more than from any other country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced that India will further scale up its participation in UN peacekeeping operations, including by providing training for African peacekeepers at facilities in India and in the field.
India and Africa also need to work together ahead of the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 on Climate Change in Paris and the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Kenya since both share equal concern and interest in this regard, she said.
"Our negotiators are cooperating closely in Bonn currently. We look forward to finalising an ambitious and comprehensive climate change agreement based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility.
"The challenge of global warming can only be addressed adequately through technological solutions and financial resources to manage the transition," Swaraj said.
She said that the recent announcements regarding the signing of a Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the launch of negotiations for the creation of a Continental Free Trade Agreement in Africa will stimulate further trade and investment.