India will work with the Pacific Island nations for a “comprehensive, balanced and fair outcome” at the UN Conference of Parties-21, to be held in Paris in November-December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday.
Addressing the heads of state of 14 Pacific Island nations at the Second Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit, Modi said climate change was “clearly a pressing concern for all” and “combating it is India’s national priority”.
Reiterating his call for reforms at the UN, Modi said India stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Pacific Island nations for a “dedicated seat for Small Island Developing States in an expanded and reformed UN Security Council in both categories”.
“India will support the realisation of your vision of Pacific Regionalism. It is a shining example of cooperative regionalism that should inspire others around the world,” he said.
The PM said oceans are critical to India’s future, which is why he had “focused a lot on ocean economy” in the past year.
He said India was pleased to stand with the region in ensuring that sustainable use of oceans and marine resources emerged as a “distinct element in the Sustainable Development Goals” finalised recently.
“Our challenges are similar. Climate change is an existential threat to the Pacific Islands. We both seek a concrete and effective outcome on climate change at Conference of Parties-21 in Paris later this year,” he said.
“We must press for reform in the UN Security Council to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in the 21st century. We seek your support for the text of the President of the General Assembly as a basis for reforming the Security Council,” he urged.
Emphasising that trade, not aid, was the “enabler for development”, Modi outlined a host of areas for cooperation between India and the island nations. From announcing gratis visas for citizens of Pacific Island countries, to improving market access for Small Islands Developing States, Modi said India wanted a “partnership of equals” in the region.