Stockholm, April 18 (IANS) India is a strong candidate for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council, according to a joint statement issued here after the first Indo-Nordic Summit.
“The Nordic countries agree that India is a strong candidate for a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council expanded with both permanent and non-permanent members,” said the statement issued late Tuesday.
The Nordic countries and India reaffirmed the need for the Council’s reform, including its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent seats to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the realities of the 21st century.
“The Nordic countries welcomed India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and reaffirmed their commitment to work constructively within the Group with the aim of reaching a positive outcome at the earliest opportunity,” it said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his counterparts from the five Nordic countries — Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland — have reaffirmed their support for the UN and the Secretary-General’s reform efforts to ensure a world body fit to support member states to deliver on Agenda 2030.
India and the Nordic nations also agreed to deepen cooperation on issues related to global security, economic growth, innovation and climate change at the Summit which was attended by Modi during his visit here.
“The Summit emphasised India’s strong commitment to innovation and digital initiatives as key to prosperity and sustainable development, with national flagship programmes such as Make in India, Startup India, Digital India and Clean India,” said the statement.
The Prime Ministers acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism were the major challenges for the international community.
The leaders discussed global security, including cyber security, based on their shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
They noted that women’s full and meaningful participation in political, social and economic life is key to inclusive development and agreed to promote the empowerment of women.
India signed MoUs in the areas of urban development, animal husbandry and dairying, food safety and agricultural research and education with Denmark and it signed a MoU with Iceland on the establishment of an ICCR Chair for Hindi language between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the University of Iceland.
With Norway and Finland, Modi had an “engaging interaction” on trade and investment, shipping and port-development, blue economy, renewable energy, health, information technology and green transport solutions, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
India and Sweden co-hosted the India-Nordic Summit on the second and final day of Modi’s visit to Sweden.
For India, Nordic countries are a potential source for clean technology, environmental solutions, port modernisation, cold chain, skill development, innovation among other areas.
The Summit welcomed the Nordic Sustainable Cities Project aimed at supporting the Smart Cities programme of the Indian government.
According to figures provided by the External Affairs Ministry, India’s trade with the Nordic countries totaled around $5.3 billion in 2016-17, with cumulative foreign direct investment in India at $2.5 billion.