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Globalisation must be fair, development should be inclusive: PM

By Murali Krishnan, IANS,

Beijing : For globalisation to succeed it must be fair and benefit the whole of humanity, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Saturday while stressing that international cooperation must be strengthened to combat terrorism.

Speaking at the closed plenary session of the seventh summit of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in the Chinese capital, Manmohan Singh said poverty eradication in Asia, which is home to the largest concentration of the world’s poor, required a collaborative global effort to promote development, and in particular to create job opportunities.

“Development has to be inclusive. It must reduce disparities of income and wealth. It should create ever widening circles of stakeholders. It should respect pluralism and diversity,” said Singh, the opening speaker Saturday of the two-day summit which winds up in the evening.

The Indian prime minister blamed regulatory and supervisory powers for the global economic downturn.

Delving on sustainable development, one of the biggest challenges faced by the developing world, and on millennium development goals, Manmohan Singh said a lot of work was needed to transform it from a mere buzz word to an operational strategy for development.

“If we fail, we will continue to live in a world of instability and conflict,” he said.

Heads of state and government of 45 countries have gathered in Beijing where three interwoven major challenges – the turbulent international financial market, energy and climate change and food security – were discussed.

“The development strategies that we adopt have to result in a fair, equitable and balanced distribution of the economic dividend,” the prime minister said. “At the same time, it must also preserve and protect the environment. Only then can we make faster progress in meeting the millennium development goals.

“We therefore need to put in place a global action plan to promote both food and energy security for managing the challenges of both accelerated growth and its environmental sustainability.”

On climate change, Manmohan Singh emphasised that a holistic approach was needed to tackle this problem.

“We cannot do so by perpetuating the poverty of the developing countries, or by preventing their industrialisation,” he pointed out.

The international community, said Mammohan Singh, had not lived up to its commitments for technology transfer and additional financing since the 1992 Rio conference.

“We should pursue innovative mechanisms for raising finance for development and creating a favourable IPR regime.”

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit, was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 with 172 governments participating.

Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels linked to global climate change, new reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions and the growing scarcity of water were then debated.