2051st Plenary Meeting, 3rd October, 1972
Mr. President, I offer you on behalf of India our most cordial
congratulations onyour election as the President of the twenty-seventh
session of the General Assembly. By electing you, the Member States have
recognized your own skll and wisdom and have also honoured the struggles
and achievements of the Polish people. India has had close and friendly
relations with Poland, and I wish to assure you of our fullest co-
operation as you discharge your responsibilities.
I should also like to pay a tribute to our outgoing President, Adam Malik,
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, for the patience and
devotion with which he guided our work during the last session. We recall
the long years of dedicated service which U Thant gave to the United
Nations and for which he will always be remembered with affection and
admiration. At the same time, we greet our Secretary-General, Mr. Waldheim.
His dynamism and his high sense of purpose had been recognized even before
his election at the end of our last session. Since then his tireless
efforts in the exercise of his duties have earned him high respect. We
wish him continued success.
In India, we are celebrating this year the twenty-fifth anniversary of our
independence. As a result of the long struggle of our people, we became
independent in the year 1947. In the years that followed, the freedom of
most countries from colonial domination was achieved and a community of
interest in justice and progress began to grow among the newly independent
countries. In the quarter of a century that has since passed, we have had
our share of difficulties and successes. Today we are more united and
determined than we have ever been before in the last 25 years. Our faith
in our democracy has become deeper, our goals for the betterment of our
people are clearer, and our resolution to achieve them has become firmer.
We realize that basically we must rely on our own values and resources in
order to strengthen our economy and to accelerate the pace of our
development. The bulk of the burden must fall on us-as indeed it has
fallen on us in the past. At the same time we believe that international
co-operation is vitally necessary if humanity as a whole is to be freed
from poverty and want. Our unfinished revolution in India will not be
completed until full economic and social justice is assured for all our
people. In this spirit, we seek nothing but co-operation and friendship
with all, on a basis of equality.
India adheres firmly to the policy of non-alignment and peaceful
coexistence. This does not, and cannot, mean an exact middle position
between any two extreme views on matters of international concern. India's
policy of non-alignment is based on the need in the modern world to
maximize the area of peace, reduce tension and ensure stability with
justice. We believe in the sovereign parity of all nations; we accept the
supremacy of none. Our friendship is open to all countries on the same
terms. We trust in co-operation among equals, not in co-operation on the
basis of domination by one country over another. This policy determines
our attitude to all countries, and will continue to govern our
relationship with our neighbours.
The last year has been marked by significant detente among nations, big
and small. The meetings of leaders in Moscow and Peking, the agreement
between the Soviet Union and the United States, especially on the
limitation of strategic arms, are helpful changes from the earlier and
sterile, and at times dangerous, confrontations. In Europe many prospects
for the reduction of tensions have opened up. Some of the recent events in
Asia encourage the hope that our part of the world might also soon be
moving towards greater understanding and co-operation. Our purpose in this
improving situation will be to ensure that the momentum towards an
ever-expanding area of understanding and accommodation is maintained.
The world at large is rejecting more and more the concepts of spheres of
influence, under the guise of balance of power and of domination of
smaller Powers by the mightier ones. In this context the Secretary-General
has noted in his thoughtful introduction to his report on the work of the
Organization [A/8701/Add.l], that the idea of keeping peace and security
through a concert of great Powers is outdated, if not outmoded. The
current processes of detente can produce healthy and abiding results only
when they do not ignore the interests of countries that are yet to
participate in them. Non-aligned countries have long striven for such
contacts and consultations as are now in fact taking place. At the same
time they have repeatedly emphasized the risks to true independence if
agreements are not concluded by broad-based consultations.
A recent encouraging development has been the greater and more determined
pursuit of bilateralism in the search for solutions to many international
problems. In the past there were many instances when the interests of
outside Powers prevented the settlement of problems which could have been
achieved by mutual consultations among the parties directly concerned.
Examples of this kind are not altogether absent in our time. Nevertheless,
in areas as widely separated as Central Europe, North Africa, West Africa
and Asia, agreements have been reached for solving a number of problems
through the efforts of the countries directly concerned. The settlement of
problems mutually and bilaterally can, we think, strengthen peace,
security and independence.
Looked at from this point of view, the recent development in the relations
between India and Pakistan mark a significant departure from past years,
when hostility and suspicion were unfortunately the dominant features.
Direct negotiations have provided a more dependable means by which we can
settle and solve our problems to the benefit of the vast population of the
region. In a sincere search for a durable peace and good-neighbourly
relations, we opened negotiations with Pakistan last February which
culminated in the Simla Agreement of 3 July 1972. The two Governments have
agreed that all problems between them should be settled by peaceful means
through mutual consultations.
The President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India have pledged
full support and expressed their complete determination for the faithful
implementation of the Simia Agreement. For this purpose, further accords
are to be arrived at by mutual consultation and discussion. The use of
force has been totally abjured. They have also agreed that in Jammu and
Kashmir the entire line of control as it existed at the time of cease-fire
on 17 December 1971 will be respected by both sides. The two Governments
have been taking steps to carry out this agreement and when some doubts
and difficulties arose a few weeks ago, these too were resolved by direct
negotiations. The military commanders have been meeting from time to time
to work out the delineation of the line of control. Agreement on
delineation has been arrived at practically everywhere except for a few
small pockets where the total area involved is only a few square miles. We
have offered to the Pakistan side to have joint inspection and survey,
wherever necessary, in order to complete the delineation. We hope that the
military commanders of the two sides will meet without any further delay
to finalize delineation in the remaining small pockets by holding joint
meetings, joint inspections and surveys whenever necessary. We hope that
very shortly the entire line will be delineated. The completion of this
task will, as already agreed, be followed by mutual withdrawal of troops.
In the meantime, exchanges have been taking place of sick and wounded
prisoners of war and of those civilians who came to be under the custody
of India or Pakistan at the outbreak of hostilities on the western sector.
There are naturally several problems arising out of the armed conflict,
and the two Governments have agreed that these problems, as also other
basic unresolved matters between the two countries, would be settled by
mutual agreement. A series of meetings at various levels is envisaged to
achieve this objective. The welcome accorded to the Simla Agreement by the
international community will sustain the efforts of the two Governments
and their leaders to work patiently towards a durable peace.
The Simla Agreement is the first major fruitful step in the search for
mutual understanding and co-operation between India and Pakistan. Its full
and effective application should bring about conditions in both countries
which will enable their peoples to utilize their resources and energies
for the pressing task of advancing their welfare. The peoples of India and
Pakistan have many common interests and aspirations and they would wish to
live as good neighbours. The Simla Agreement has therefore been widely
supported by the people of both the countries.
The emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign country is destined to be of
vital importance in strengthening peace, stability, security and progress
in the subcontinent. We welcome Bangladesh as an equal partner in this
common task of the countries of the region. The heroism and fortitude of
the people of Bangladesh will be an invaluable asset in the reconstruction
of their country.
We deeply regret that Bangladesh was not enabled to take its place at the
opening of this session of the General Assembly. A country with 75 million
people, it has been recognized by over 90 other sovereign States and has
already found its rightful place in many international forums. The
earliest admission of Bangladesh to the United Nations will further
strengthen the United Nations system, will reinforce the principle of
universality of our Organization, and will contribute to the more
expeditious normalisation of relations among the countries of the
subcontinent and the achievement of peace and harmony in the area. We are
convinced that this General Assembly can do much to bring this about,
through reconsideration of Bangladesh's application by the Security
We sincerely hope that, in the shortest possible time, Pakistan and
Bangladesh will be able to solve all the problems between them with
understanding and as equal sovereign States.
We view with deep satisfaction the fact that India's relations with other
neighbouring countries continue to grow in depth and so serve to help
strengthen the forces of peace and progress in South Asia. The relations
between China and India have not shown the necessary and expected
improvement. On our part, we continue to be ready, as indeed we have
indicated in the past, to resume normal relations with China and to
improve them in our mutual interest and with mutual respect. Against the
background of the normalization and detente that have taken place in Asia
and in other parts of the world such an improvement in Sino-lndian
relations is, in our opinion, all the more desirable.
Naturally, I have taken a few minutes to explain at some length the
significant developments on the Indian subcontinent, the state of our
relations with some of our immediate neighbours, and the hopes for peace
and progress they inspire. These issues are nearest to us. I must now deal
briefly with some other vital international problems.
The presence in this hall of 132 States should make us doubly conscious of
the absence of representatives of many large areas of the world which are
still under colonial rule. Nor can we ignore the fact that in several
countries rampant racism is being preached and practised. The solution of
these problems will require a degree of awareness and co-operation which
are unfortunately still lacking. The Indian delegation will do its utmost
to work out, together with the others, all such practical means as the
United Nations can pursue. We shall continue to support the struggle for
independence being carried out by the people of all colonial Territories,
including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea (Bissau). We
will not relax our efforts to eliminate racial discrimination, whenever
and wherever it appears. The meetings of the Security Council last winter
at Addis Ababa provided an opportunity for focusing attention on these
problems. We look forward with interest to the outcome of the
Secretary-General's efforts with regard to Namibia and to the more
effective use of the Commissioner and the Council for Namibia.
The situation that has now arisen in Uganda cannot but cause concern to
all of us. The problems facing the Asians affected by the expulsion order
are essentially humanitarian in character and can be solved only in a
spirit of compassion and understanding. The people facing deportation
should be afforded reasonable time to be able to wind up their affairs in
an orderly manner and depart in safety. A vast majority of them have lived
there for generations and they should be allowed to take with them their
personal belongings and a reasonable amount of assets to enable them to
restart their lives in other lands with some measure of hope and
confidence. We hope that the Government of Uganda will respect these human
considerations and do everything possible to discharge its responsibility
towards the person and property of these unfortunate people and so lessen
their hardship. Any help other countries can give in ovecoming this
problem will, of course, be most welcome; India, for its part, is doing
all it can.
We must ensure that our solidarity in the common struggle against racial
discrimination and colonial domination is not undermined. Since we all
agree that racial discrimination is an evil to be fought, we, all of us,
cannot but oppose it, whatever form it may take.
Tensions and frustrations continue to mount in the Middle East and indeed,
as recent incidents have shown, are rising to unprecedented heights of
senseless and savage reprisals and terror. The efforts of Ambassador
Jarring and of our Secretary-General have not yet borne fruit and
meanwhile Israel is persistently consolidating its position to the total
detriment of Arab and Palestinian rights and interests. Israel has
consistently obstructed all attempts at progress towards a peaceful
solution of this problem as laid down in Security Council resolution 242
(1967) and has created the situation, where threats to international peace
and security are increasing daily and at times ominously. We would also
ask why the permanent members of the Security Council have for months
failed to meet in the face of this deteriorating situation and this grave
India stands firmly against interference by outside Powers aimed at
preventing any people from determining its destiny or choosing its form of
government in accordance with its own wishes. The tragedy in Viet-Nam is
the prolonged denial, in the most brutal manner, of this basic right of
the people. We cannot but strongly deplore and express dismay at the
continued and ever-increasing bombardment and aerial bombing of innocent
men, women and children, their cities, villages and homes, and the
indiscriminate destruction of ports, industries, crops, forests and all
other means of existence. We have consistently held and expressed the view
for a long time that force and foreign military intervention cannot bring
this problem to an end. This view is shared by a large and ever-increasing
number of countries. Recent indications are that the United States of
America has also come to accept this view. We believe that the seven-point
proposal put forward by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South
Viet-Nam provides a reasonable basis for peaceful negotiations. The
continuance of bombing with savage intensity in Indo-China in these
circumstances must command our utmost opposition.
We regret the attitude of non-cooperation by Saigon, which holds out
little hope of progress towards a peaceful settlement of this problem. The
independence, integrity and non-alignment of the three States of
Indo-China are vital to the peace and progress of Asia. The Geneva
accords1 provided the framework within which these objectives could be
achieved. The decision of the Saigon Government to refuse a visa to the
Chairman of the International Commission for Supervision and Control in
Viet-Nam is in clear violation of its obligations.
We are disappointed that the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament
has not been able to finalize even limited measures during the past year's
deliberations. Bearing in mind the link between the strengthening of
international security, disarmament and economic development, we expect
that the objectives of cessation and reversal of the arms race, especially
in nuclear armaments, the elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass
destruction and the achievement of general and complete disarmament under
effective international control will be vigorously pursued. Our general
views supporting the convening of a world disarmament conference, after
adequate preparation and with the participation of all States, have been
made known and we look forward to a constructive debate during this
On the question of the strengthening of international security and related
subjects, we are confident that our discussions will enable us to give
effect, in a more practical and fruitful manner, to the ideas embodied in
the Declaration itself [resolution 2734 (XXV)], with such further
elaboration as may be necessary.
The adoption of General Assembly resolution 2832 (XXVI), declaring the
Indian Ocean as a zone of peace, is a welcome follow-up of the Declaration
on the Strengthening of International Security. The creation of zones of
peace and co-operation, free from great-Power military rivalries and
interventions, and the removal of bases conceived in that context, must be
seen as part of legitimate regional efforts towards strengthening
international security. My delegation would support the taking of further
steps to give fuller meaning and substance to the Declaration and would
co-operate with other delegations for this purpose.
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm
last June, has awakened hopes and fears at the same time. The prevention
of pollution is a matter of common concern to the entire human race. But
the developing countries cannot accept any line of reasoning which makes
the prevention of pollution an excuse for slowing down growth in the
Addressing the Conference, the Prime Minister of India pointed out that
"Environment cannot be improved in conditions of poverty. Nor can
poverty be eradicated without use of science and technology."
To the bulk of the human population poverty continues to be a much bigger
menace than pollution. The true lesson of the Stockholm Conference is that
we must start the quest for a world without poverty and without pollution.
We consider that the programme should be formulated on a world-wide basis
in order to assist countries to meet effectively the requirements of the
growth of human settlements and to improve the quality of life in existing
settlements by creating a human settlement development fund.
The peaceful uses of the sea-bed and the utilization of the vast and as
yet untapped resources of the sea-bed in the interests of mankind remain a
matter of importance to us. We cautiously hope that the preparatory work
entrusted to the United Nations Committee on the sea-bed2 will result in
the early convening of a conference on the law of the sea.
Recent developments in the world economy and in the monetary field have
caused grave concern to us all and have pointed to the need for the
establishing of a more durable and equitable world monetary system. Let us
not forget that the world economy will not be restored to health by
focusing only on the payments problems of the prosperous countries.
Monetary, trade and development problems are all closely interrelated and
the developing countries have a vital stake in all of them. The developing
countries must therefore participate fully in any decision-making process
affecting the future of the international monetary system, so that their
legitimate interests may be fully safeguarded.
Last week the International Monetary Fund at its annual meeting3 showed
some awareness of the problem by setting up a committee of Governors in
which the developing countries have increased representation. We consider
that the link between the special drawing rights and additional
development finance, which we have always advocated and the need for which
has now been widely realized, should be established soon.
India participated, with great expectations, in the third session of
UNCTAD, held in Santiago earlier this year. The need for taking speedy
follow-up action on the decisions taken at that conference cannot be
over-emphasized. It may be too early to attempt a final evaluation of the
results of the conference, but clearly many trade and allied issues of
great concern to the developing countries have remained unresolved.
Continued efforts from all sides are therefore necessary if the high hopes
that were entertained in respect of that conference are to be realized.
Two years ago my delegation had occasion to emphasize the great importance
of the adoption by the General Assembly of an International Development
Strategy for the 1970s. It cannot, however, be said with any degree of
confidence that the commitments voluntarily assumed by the international
community only a short time ago are being implemented with any vigour and
vitality. If any thing, there has been a slide-back in the fulfilment of
the goals and objectives of the Decade, and the interests of the
developing countries have been given only residual consideration. During
the remaining years of this decade therefore, it will be necessary for all
of us to catch up with the time loss and to evolve effective and concrete
programmes of international co-operation in the economic field.
At the same time, the continuous and well-coordinated review and appraisal
of the implementation of the Development Strategy will need to be equally
emphasized We hope that the two newly established committees of the
Economic and Social Council, the Committee on Review and Appraisal and the
Committee on Science and Technology for Development, will be able to make
an effective contribution in this field, in close co-ordination with the
useful work already being done by UNCTAD and the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization [UNIDO].
Our agenda has nearly a hundred items on it, and have commented on only a
limited number of issue. However, we are conscious that many other problem
whether or not they are included in our agenda, create anxieties and
difficulties in many parts of the world. The Secretary-General, in the
introduction to his report on the work of the Organization [A/870 1/Add.
1], has given his views on salient aspects of the international scene as
it is today, and on the perspective for the future.
In order to complete my presentation I should like to touch upon the
Indian experience over the last year or so.
As I said here 12 months ago [1940th meeting], the year 1971 opened for us
with great hopes and yet throughout the year we faced endless, and at
times nearly insurmountable, difficulties. Confronted with the most
appalling difficulties and human tragedies, the Indian people showed
remarkable unity and determination. Within three months of the cease-fire
nearly all of the 10 million refugees had gone back to their homes in
newly independent Bangladesh. Despite our limited resources we have
co-operated fully with Bangladesh in the Herculean task of relief and
The Indian people are now engaged in increasing their agricultural and
industrial production. The Government of India has introduced programmes
in order to achieve greater social justice and more satisfying human
values for the Indian people as a whole. In that great experiment the
Government and people of India look to the United Nations as a continuous
source of inspiration and a vast field of co-operation.
Yet our Organization is constantly being enfeebled, if not undermined, in
a number of ways. Some seek in it partisan support; others make an issue
of money and finance; still others try to use it to underwrite their
domestic policies. All of these may appear to some to be legitimate, but
developing countries such as India look upon this Organization as a
bastion where international peace and justice can be protected and where
progress can be assured. For that purpose the great principles of the
Charter cannot be pursued selectively: they should be taken in their
totality, and applied realistically in a given situation. U Thant has
already drawn attention to this problem, and we are anxious that in the
coming years it should be possible to work out a viable system in which
the seeming contradiction in Charter principles would no longer prove to
be a hindrance to solving several international problems of our time.
Such a step taken together with the more massive and co-operative
utilization of modern science and technology, may well fulfil the dream
for which this Organization was established. There is a need for vigilance
and study to decide how we can make our Organization more representative,
more effective and more responsive to the multitude of needs of people all
over the world.
Finally, I would simply say that in spite of many setbacks and
disappointments the millions and millions of people of India look to this
Organization with faith and hope, and wish that this session of the
Assembly may take yet another step, however modest, towards achieving the
goal of peace, justice and progress.
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