By Patience Smith NEW DELHI, 26 OCT (NAMPA) -
India's External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj has called for the inclusion of Africa and India on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Swaraj said it is 'inconceivable' that the UNSC to date does not have any permanent representation from Africa, the continent with the largest amount of countries.
"The UN celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, but continues to be representative of a world order of 1945," she said at a forum for journalists from India and Africa in New Delhi on Sunday.
She said it is no longer tolerable for Africa and India, with its massive population, to have no seats on the global body. "India has all credentials to be a permanent member of the Security Council, but it is not. It is incomprehensible that India, which represents almost one-sixth of the world's population, is still out of it," she said.
Swaraj called on journalists from the two regions to help advocate for a change 'to remove this anomaly'. Senior media workers from India and 45 invited journalists from Africa convened to assess possibilities for promoting greater Africa-India media cooperation and understanding.
Swaraj said the media needed to counteract the bleak picture sketched by 'Western media' to reflect the true reality of growth on the ground in developing countries. "In addition to providing the facts, reporters should investigate and analyse underlining agendas," she said.
Swaraj told the journalists to avoid looking at each other through 'a prism of stereotypes perpetuated by biased reports'. She said the reality was that poverty still persists, but that India and Africa are on a path of strong growth. "Over the last decade, India and Africa got 17 per cent and 10 per cent of its population out of extreme poverty respectively."
She said in the last 15 years, India's trade with Africa has gone up 20 times and now stood at more than US$70 billion, in addition to a total investment of over US$30 billion across Africa.