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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 14:49 GMT
Brown backs India UN council bid
Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah at an Indian women's centre
Mr Brown has offered 825m in development aid to India

India should take its "rightful place" on the UN Security Council, UK prime minister Gordon Brown has said on the final day of his trip to India.

He said the UK backed India's permanent membership - and called for reform of other international institutions.

Mr Brown, who said 10bn of deals could be signed within months, said UK/India trade was growing by 20% a year.

Indian premier Manmohan Singh said the UN could not afford to ignore countries like India and China.

International institutions, if they are to be credible in terms of their ability to grapple with contemporary challenges they can't ignore countries like India and China
Manmohan Singh
Indian PM

The two were speaking at a joint press conference during Mr Brown's two day visit to India.

Asked about India's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Mr Brown said: "India is the biggest democracy in the world, it is one of the world's fastest growing economies and making a huge contribution to the economic prosperity of the whole world.

"I believe that India should assume its rightful place in the deliberations of the world including membership of the UN Security Council."

Mr Brown added: "It is my hope that 10bn worth of commercial deals between our two countries, now under negotiation and discussed over the last few days, can be signed in the coming months to the benefit of both economies."

He also outlined plans to boost educational co-operation - including a "long-term education forum" to discuss issues of mutual concern as well as more transfers of university staff and students.

He said India could make a contribution on issues like the environment, counter terrorism, and social justice and that should be "recognised in the reform of all our international institutions".

Counter terrorism

The five nations permanently represented on the Security Council reflect the post-war power structure when it was founded in 1946. India is among several countries lobbying for the coveted permanent member status.

The UK also believes Brazil, Japan, Germany and an African country should become members,

The IMF should be at the heart of an early-warning system for financial turbulence effecting the global economy
Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Indian PM Singh added: "I think today there is an agreement that international institutions if they are to be credible in terms of their ability to grapple with contemporary challenges they can't ignore countries like India and China."

Both leaders said counter-terrorism was a high priority - Mr Brown said there would be increased co-operation between both countries security agencies.

Premier Singh said Mr Brown's visit had brought a "fresh momentum to our strategic partnership".

Gandhi memorial

Earlier in a keynote speech in New Delhi, Mr Brown called for reform of international institutions, including the United Nations and the World Bank, to build a "new global society".

He also called for a World Bank fund to combat global warming and later laid a wreath at a memorial to the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr Brown told business leaders in the Indian capital that to succeed, post-war international institutions "must be radically reformed to fit our world of globalisation".

Mr Brown went on to say that he supported changes to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the G8 to "reflect the rise of India and Asia".

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The World Bank needed to strengthen its focus on poverty reduction, while also becoming "a bank for the environment", involving a multi-billion pound global climate change fund to finance low-carbon investment, he said.

Mr Brown argued that the IMF should focus on surveillance of the global economic and financial system to prevent crises, such as that affecting Northern Rock in the UK.

It was also important to establish a rapid reaction force which would bring together police, judges, lawyers and other civilian experts, who could co-ordinate peacekeeping and recovery in countries blighted by conflict.

Mr Brown is touring China and India to promote trade relations with Britain.

Earlier on his trip to India, Mr Brown announced a new package of development aid for the country, worth 825m over the next three years - 500m of which he said would be spent on health and education.



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