Speaking at the valedictory session of a national conference on 'India-Africa Partnership in a Changing Global Order--Priorities, Prospects and Challenges', organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) in New Delhi, Shri Naidu said that terrorism is the enemy of humanity and must be eliminated.
Observing that peace was a prerequisite for progress, he asserted that India believed in peaceful relations with all countries, including one of its neighbors provided they did not interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
The Vice President also called for enlarging and democratizing the United Nations Security Council, while pointing out that India represented one-sixth of the global population. He said that India and Africa have common interests in issues such as UN Security Council reforms, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and cybersecurity.
Saying that India and African nations have always been natural partners in civilization, culture, and progress, the Vice President said that they were forged by a strong bond of long traditions of friendship, civilizational contacts, historical goodwill, shared experiences, mutuality of worldviews and interests.
Shri Naidu said that Africa's support played a decisive role in making the Non- Aligned Movement initiated by India, Yugoslavia, and Egypt into a powerful voice of the developing world.
"The sense of solidarity and unity formed during the Cold War days continues to drive the India-Africa relations to this date," he added.
Opining that there was a greater scope for India Africa business cooperation, the Vice President said that Africa became an important trade and investment partner for the country with USD 62.66 billion bilateral trade in 2017 – 2018. With cumulative investments in Africa amounting to US$54 billion, he said that India was the fourth-largest investor in Africa and expressed hope that there was scope to explore for more opportunities.
Stating that India Africa development partnership model seeks mutual benefits through a consultative process, he said that it was responsive to the needs and priorities of African countries. Both India and Africa have vital stakes in each other's progress, peace, and prosperity, he added.
The Vice President said that India's development initiatives including capacity building and human resource development under ITEC, Lines of Credit and Grant Assistance to Africa made it a close partner of Africa in its socio-economic transformation.
Shri Naidu released two publications of Indian Council of World Affairs titled शक्ति की मान्यता: संयुक्त राष्ट्र् सुरक्षा परिषद (Shakti Ki Manyata- Samyukta Rashtra Suraksha Parishad) written by Shri Dilip Sinha and भारत और यूरोपीय संघ: एक अंतरंग द्रष्टिकोण लेखक (Bharat Aur European Sangh: Ek Antarangik Drishtikon) written by Bhaswati Mukherjee.
Mr. Alem Tsehaye Woldemariam, Ambassador of the Republic of Etria and Dean of African Groups of Heads of Mission, Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan, DG, ICWA, Dr. Nivedita Ray, Director Research, ICWA and members of Indian Council of World Affairs were present.
(With Inputs from PIB)