Jaipur: Pushing for deeper cooperation with 14 nations of strategically-located Pacific region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a number of initiatives, including setting up of a space station in any of the countries and developing capacities in disaster management.
Addressing the Summit of Forum for India-Pacific Island Conference (FIPIC) here, he said cooperation could immediately begin with research collaboration and capacity building with institutions in India.
He offered to create capacity in these Island states in dealing with natural disasters, including through human resource development and application of space technology for early warning system and incident response.
Talking about Indian Navy's support and capacity building efforts in island states in Indian Ocean, he pitched for goodwill visits by Indian Navy to Pacific Islands saying the ships could also provide support to the islands in areas like healthcare through medical camps.
Modi, while highlighting Fiji's support for India's Mars Mission, talked about establishing a Space Technology Applications Centre in any one of the Pacific Island countries, for the entire region.
He told the assembly of heads of states and governments and other delegates that efforts would be made to enhance support for training in space applications, including through customised courses.
Modi, who also had bilateral meetings with a number of leaders present here, hoped for continuing support from the Pacific Islands for Telemetry, Tracking and Command for the country's missions in the future.
He also proposed to hold an International Conference on Ocean economy and Pacific Island Countries in New Delhi next year for officials and experts of all the 14 Pacific Island countries.
In the area of human resource development, he announced that Fiji will get 110 slots for the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation and the number of slots for remaining 13 countries will be doubled from 119 to 238.
Modi also announced two scholarships for college education in India to each of the 13 countries that do not receive them yet, while continuing with the 33 scholarships presently offered to Fiji.
We will expand our training courses for Pacific Island diplomats and a two-week business management course at the Indian Institute of Management in Bengaluru, he said.
In a move aimed at saving kerosene worth about a million US dollars and providing livelihood to women, Modi said that India would train 70 women solar engineers from the islands and provide solar electrification to 2,800 houses - 200 houses in each Pacific Island Country.
Underlining that climate change is a pressing concern for all, the Prime Minister said, "We must equally seek a global commitment to support adaptation to the growing impact of climate change on our lives and economy," an apparent message to the developed world.
"Combating it is India s national priority. We made this choice with the natural instinct of our heritage and culture. But we also do this in our enlightened self-interest and with a commitment to the future of our planet," he said.
The Prime Minister said India will work with these island nations and others for a comprehensive, balanced and fair outcome at COP-21 (Conference of Parties) in Paris in November this year.
India and the Pacific island nations should work together for a separate goal on climate change in the Sustainable Development Goals, and in a manner that addresses the interests of developing countries, Modi said.
Pushing for reform of the UN, the Prime Minister asserted that the global body must keep pace with the changing time as the world today is a different place seven decades after it was created.
He sought the support of Pacific island nations to India s bid for permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council.
"Your voice of support for India's permanent membership of the Security Council will give the United Nations the global character and balance that mirrors our age, he said, adding the UN is at a historic milestone of its 70th anniversary.
"I have written to all member states on charting the course for the United Nations for the years ahead. Seven decades after the UN was created, the world is a different place. We have four times as many nations. We have new challenges like climate change. We have new frontiers like Space and Ocean. We live in a globalised world with a transformed economy in a digital age," he said.
The United Nations must keep pace with the changing world, Modi said.
Pushing for reforms in the UN Security Council to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in the 21st century, Modi sought support of the island nations for reforming the Security Council.
India, he said, will support the realisation of vision of the island countries for Pacific Regionalism.
He said the reform of the UN Security Council is in global interest and vital for more inclusive and equitable world.
The draft presented by the President of the General Assembly as the negotiating text should be adopted quickly and the negotiations concluded during the 70th session of the General Assembly (next month), Modi said.