Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday said Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi have backed India's push to democratise the United Nations. He was speaking to media while returning to India after a six-day visit to the three African countries. "The countries I visited agree with us on the need to democratise the UN in an effective manner and on the importance of the role of India in the independent nations," he said. These three countries have been strongly supporting Indian candidates in various UN and international fora, Naidu said. "During the visit, I took this opportunity to thank them for their support," he said. India and the other G4 nations -- Brazil, Germany and Japan -- have been voicing concern over the lack of substantive progress in the long-pending Security Council reforms. At a meeting of the G4 nations held in September on the margins of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, the four nations reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism.
Asked how do the leaders of the three African countries he visited perceive some of India's neighbours, Naidu said, "They are aware of what is happening and are with us on the need to combat terror." "I explained to them that we want to have friendly relations with all our neighbours," he said. "I also explained to them the gesture of our prime minister (Narendra Modi) in visiting his Pakistani counterpart for an event even at the latter's home and the efforts that are being made and the subsequent actions of these people," Naidu said. All three leaders expressed their desire to work with India on solar energy and deeply appreciated India's initiative on the International Solar Alliance (ISA), he said. "While Malawi has already signed and ratified the framework agreement on ISA, Zimbabwe has signed ISA and, during my visit Botswana, they conveyed to me of their decision to sign it shortly," he said. "These are indeed welcome developments," he added.
Naidu said he was happy to inaugurate the India for Humanity event in Malawi to commemorate the 150 birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi through holding year-long Jaipur Foot camps around the world. "Malawi was chosen since it was in Africa that Mahatma spent more than two decades and eventually led a non-violent movement that liberated India from colonialism and inspired African leaders to free their countries as well," Naidu said.