Manmohan Singh: 'No grievance can justify resort to terror'

From an address by the Prime Minister of India to a Joint Session of the United States Congress, at the Capitol, in Washington DC
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The Independent Online

Democracy can only thrive in open and free societies. But the very openness of our societies makes us more vulnerable, and yet we must deal effectively with the threat without losing the openness we so value and cherish.

India and the United States have both suffered grievously from terrorism, and we must make common cause against it. We know that those who resort to terror often clothe it in the garb of real or imaginary grievances. We must categorically affirm that no grievance can justify resort to terror.

Globalisation has woven a web of inter-connections across the world. This makes it all the more necessary that we evolve a system of global governance that carries credibility and commands legitimacy. Such a system must be sufficiently participative to be able to generate a global consensus. It must also reflect contemporary reality. The Doha round of world trade negotiations and the reform of the United Nations are two major processes in the international arena where we need to work together to strengthen the system of global governance.

On the reform of the United Nations, we believe that it is time to recognise the enormous changes that have occurred since the present structure was established. There must be comprehensive reform of the United Nations to make it more effective and also more representative. The UN Security Council must be restructured as part of the reform process. In this context, you would agree that the voice of the world's largest democracy surely cannot be left unheard on the Security Council when the United Nations is being restructured.

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