'Inconceivable’ that India, Africa don’t have permanent UNSC seats: Swaraj

Ashwini Phadnis New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on October 25, 2015

India has said that it is "inconceivable” that the United Nations Security Council does not have any permanent representation from Africa which is the largest continent (in terms of number of countries).

"It is also incomprehensible that India which represents almost one-sixth of the world’s population and has all credentials to be a permanent member of the Security Council, is still out of it. We all need to work together to remove this anomaly,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday at India-Africa Editors’ Forum at the Third India-Africa Summit.

The remarks come on the eve of the third India-Africa Summit Forum opening here on Monday. Heads of State or Government from all 54 African nations are expected to arrive here for the forum.

Focusing on the need for India, Africa and other developing countries working together, the Minister said all three have to work "`hand-in-hand'' in the COP 21 on Climate Change in Paris in December and in the 10th WTO Ministerial in Kenya "`to ensure that our development agenda is not affected''.

Re-emphasising that India’s relations with Africa have been one of maximising mutual benefits, the External Affairs Minister said: "We have sought to complement our needs with each other’s strengths” adding that in the last 15 years, India’s trade with Africa has gone up 20 times and today stands at more than $70 billion. Besides, India also has a total investment of $ 30 to 35 billion in Africa.

"We have managed to extend concessional credit to the tune of $ 7.4 billion. Most of this credit stands approved and at least half has already been disbursed. Through credit lines, India has partnered Africa in creating 137 projects in 41 countries,” she added.

Published on October 25, 2015

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