United Nations: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh comes to the United Nations on Thursday focused on global challenges such as terrorism, economic slowdown, terrorism and unrest in West Asia and North Africa.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, his Principal Secretary TKA Nair, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai are part of the high-level team accompanying Manmohan Singh.
A meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN meet is not on the cards. But Manmohan Singh is set to hold bilateral meetings with the presidents of Iran, South Sudan and Sri Lanka, and the prime ministers of Japan and Nepal.
Set to address the UN General Assembly Saturday morning, Manmohan Singh will also dilate on the issue of UN reforms as he speaks about the role played by India since being elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council after a gap of 19 years.
As he said in a statement in New Delhi embarking on the five day UN trip, "Our efforts at promoting international peace and security and bringing to bear a developing country perspective have, I believe, enriched the Council`s deliberations and enhanced its effectiveness."
"The UN must be seen as an impartial, credible and effective body. I will stress the need for early reform of this unique organization, particularly an expansion of its Security Council."
He has also called upon all countries to collectively address the multiple global challenges saying, "More than ever before, it is imperative for all countries to act in concert to address these challenges.
"This is the time for UN to resume its global leadership role," he said
"The UN General Assembly is meeting this year at a time when the world is faced with multiple challenges. The global economy is in the midst of an economic slowdown coupled with all its attendant problems, including inflationary pressures," the Prime Minister said.
"West Asia, North Africa and Gulf regions have seen major upheavals and there is uncertainty about the shape of things to come in this crucial part of the world in the period ahead. The Palestine question remains unresolved," he said.
He also said terrorism and non-traditional threats to international security, such as piracy, were threatening states and the international political and social order and called for collective action to address all these issues.