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Modi suggests more reforms at UN, seeks greater role for India

By Arul Louis,

United Nations : Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his case for giving nations contributing troops to UN peacekeeping operations more say in decision-making at his meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Saturday as he pitched for more reforms in the working of the 193-nation world body to make it more effective. India currently contributes over 8000 personnel to UN peacekeeping operations in conflict spots around the world.

Ban told him he admired his focus on improving the welfare of all Indians.

Syed Akbaruddin, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said Modi told Ban that “those countries that are contributing troops to United Nations should have an effective say in decision making and mandates because they put their troops’ life at stake when they fulfill mandates of the UN.”

“The secretary-general thanked India for its significant contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations,” the secretary-general’s spokesperson said. India contributes 8,104 personnel to UN peacekeeping operations around the world, officials said.

“The secretary-general also expressed his admiration for the prime minister’s focus on improving the socio-economic well-being of all Indian people.”

Another issue raised by Modi during the meeting was reforming the UN. Akbaruddin said Modi told Ban that he “should take the lead in trying to reform various aspects of the working of the UN” and India was ready to work with him.

Answering a reporter’s question, Akbaruddin said that while UN reform issues like expansion of the Security Council, which India is strongly pursuing, were in the domain of the entire membership of the UN, Modi had in mind those specific reforms in the working of the world body that the secretary-general himself could undertake.

Modi and Ban also discussed regional issues with the prime minister outlining his initiatives for working with South Asian neighbours and how he intended to take them forward, Akbaruddin said.