It is a great pleasure for me to be in India again.
I want to thank Minister [S.M.] Krishna and the people of India for their hospitality and their warm welcome.
India is a major partner of the United Nations and I am here to deepen our relationship.
India is currently an active member of the Security Council and we look forward to discussing a wide range of issues across our agenda of peace and security, development and human rights.
And this morning I had a very good meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh, covering all these three pillars of the United Nations Charter.
We discussed sustainable development and matters of common concern on peace and security, starting from Syria; the situation in this region – Sri Lanka, Nepal, and also encouraging relationships between India and Pakistan, and also how to help the further democratisation of Myanmar, where I am going to visit in two days’ time.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me add that India’s role in peace and development in this region will be crucial.
I also want to personally thank the Minister for India’s extraordinary contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping efforts around the world.
India is the third largest troop contributing country in the world. You have also been a global pioneer in deploying female police officers who have made such a difference in boosting trust among vulnerable groups in troubled areas.
I am also convinced that India’s democratic experience has much to offer the world – and we discussed how to share your lessons and insights, especially in light of the Arab Spring.
And finally, there is the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. This meeting is in less than two months’ time. India has a strong commitment to sustainable development. The country has been heavily engaged in the preparatory process. We look forward to India’s participation at the highest level in Rio.
I am very much encouraged by the reaffirmation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he himself will he will lead the [Indian] delegation. Once again, my deepest thanks and admiration for your leadership in working together with the UN in dealing with all of these current challenges.
I am looking forward to having a very fruitful and constructive dialogue, covering all the spectrums of our current concerns.
And I am also looking forward to my own visit to Mumbai, where I will have an opportunity of witnessing for myself and this success and successful progress which you have made in public health areas. I will try to showcase such successful stories to the outside world so that they will be able to emulate such good examples of India.
I thank you very much and dhanyawad.