Mumbai: Reiterating his country`s support to India`s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, French President Nicholas Sarkozy Tuesday said New Delhi must exhibit responsibility and be ready to uphold peace initiatives around the world - even if this meant sending troops.
Addressing the India-France Economic Conference on "Together to build a Sustainable Future" at the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel here, Sarkozy said that if India became a permanent member of the UNSC, then it must also be prepared to send troops to protect peace initiatives worldwide.
"The voice of one billion (Indians) is not being heard... Even the voices of one billion Africans cannot be ignored. That is why we have consistently supported India`s membership of the UNSC. India must also be ready to send troops wherever required to protect peace in the world," Sarkozy said.
"We know this is difficult and it often leads to our people losing their lives, but it is inevitable in the interest of peace in strife-torn areas of the world," he said.
He noted out that for 35 years the UN has been talking of reforms in the Security Council, but has not moved forward an inch.
Deviating from his speech to "speak from my heart", Sarkozy also called upon India to open itself up to the major global environment debate.
"If you do not take the steps we took a hundred years ago, then you will pay the price for it much before we do," he cautioned.