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New Delhi : Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of United Nations, called on the President of India  Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 3, 2018. Welcoming Guterres on his first visit to India as Secretary General of the United Nations, President Kovind said that India deeply values his participation in the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention and the 4th anniversary of the Swachh Bharat campaign. The President thanked him for all the support  given to spread the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

The President said that in the past few years, India has witnessed transformative changes powered by digital technology and inclusive development policies, be it in gender empowerment, sanitation, financial inclusion, provision of clean cooking fuel to over 250 million people, making available health insurance to over 500 million people, or giving access to electricity to millions across the country. We remain fully committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he said. And our commitment is not limited to our country. Our development cooperation programmes are helping others to meet these Goals as well, he said.

President Kovind said that India believes that in a globalising world, multilateralism is indispensible. India remains committed to it.  The UN must adapt itself to the changing times. It should be more responsive to the needs of all countries, he said.

The President said that no reform of the UN would be complete without the reform of the UN Security Council. The current permanent membership of the Security Council does not reflect contemporary global realities. He emphasised that the Security Council’s membership and work methods need to be updated to equip it to face the challenges of the 21st century.

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