India continued to play an active role in the United Nations (UN) focusing on the ongoing process of reforming the UN Organization with a view to enhancing its representative nature and its credibility, and therefore, its effectiveness. In collaboration with other member states, India continued to work for reform of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council and to revitalize the General Assembly.
The period under review was marked by several high-level visits. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh led the Indian delegation to the 63rd Session of General Assembly in September 2008. In his address to the UNGA on September 27, 2008, PM underlined the need for progress on core elements of the agenda for reform of the UN. He also stressed for the need for coordinated action by the international community in dealing with the crisis in the world financial system and global food and energy crisis. In the context of the fact that 2008 marked the mid-point of international efforts to achieve the developmental targets set by the Millennium Development Goals, PM emphasized the indivisible nature of global prosperity and welfare. PM also referred to terrorism, exhorting the world to strengthen international cooperation in this regard and reaffirmed the need for the early conclusion of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, visited India from 30 – 31 October 2008 and delivered the Rajiv Gandhi Commemorative Speech on 31 October 2008. He visited India again on 4-6 February 2009 to participate in the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
India worked actively to ensure that development remains at the core of the United Nations agenda, particularly against the backdrop of the global financial meltdown, together with upheavals in the food and energy markets. In this regard, the need for developed countries to fulfill their commitments to provide enhanced aid, greater market access, debt relief and technology transfer to developing countries was re-emphasized. India also pushed for proportionate voice and participation of the developing countries towards ensuring a greater developmental focus in the international regimes on trade, finance and economic bodies.
India also continued its active engagement with the Non-Alignment Movement and the Commonwealth. EAM led the Indian delegation to the 15th NAM Ministerial Meeting in Tehran during 27-30 July 2008. Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, former High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, who was elected as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth in November 2007, assumed office on 1 April 2008 and visited India on 16-22 October, 2008 and 4-11 February, 2009.