RAPID emergence of India and China as global powers with legitimate aspirations is among the “new global forces” that are unique to our generation, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Monday.
Delivering his first major foreign police speech at the banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor of London on Monday evening, Mr Brown said the new forces of global change were pressing upon the international community to discover common purpose in a globalised world.
He said: “(Global) flows of capital and global sourcing of goods and services have brought the biggest shift of economic power since the industrial revolution — the rapid emergence of India and China as global powers with legitimate global aspirations. The new frontier is that there is no frontier.”
Mr Brown went on to call upon Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan to restore the constitution and implement the necessary conditions to guarantee free and fair elections on schedule in January. He also wanted Musharraf to release all political prisoners, including members of the judiciary and human rights activists; to pursue “energetically” reconciliation with the political opposition; honour his commitment to step down as chief of army staff and relax restrictions on the media.
Calling for reform of international institutions such as the UN, World Bank and the IMF, Brown said that they were built for 50 sheltered economies in what became a bipolar world, but were no longer “fit for purpose” in an interdependent world of 200 states.
He said: “Long term but now also interim options must be examined to reform a UN Security Council — whose permanent members do not include Japan, India, Brazil, Germany, or any African country — to make the Council more representative, more credible and more effective.
“The G8 has to increasingly broaden to encompass the influential emerging economies now outside but that account for more than a third of the world’s economic output.”
Touching upon Britain’s key foreign policy aspects, Mr Brown sought to dispel the impression that unlike his predecessor, Tony Blair, he was not enamoured of the USA. After taking over as prime minister, there were suggestions that Mr Brown would seek to distance himself from Mr Blair’s overtly pro-USA tilt.
Mr Brown said: “It is no secret that I am a life long admirer of America. I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe and I believe that our ties with America — founded on values we share — constitute our most important bilateral relationship.”
Mr Brown proposed internationally agreed access to an enrichment bond or nuclear fuel bank to help non-nuclear states acquire the new sources of energy they need. But this offer, he said, should be made only as long as the countries renounced nuclear weapons and met internationally enforced non-proliferation standards.
Mr Brown said: “And just as we will continue to be a leading nation in negotiating nuclear arms reductions, so we must be at the forefront of meeting the challenge of preventing nuclear weapons proliferation. And with more sophisticated after-the-fact detection of the source of nuclear materials there must be a determination to hold to account both active providers and potential users.
“My approach is hard-headed internationalism: Internationalist because global challenges need global solutions and nations must cooperate across borders — often with hard-headed intervention — to give expression to our shared interests and shared values; hard-headed because we will not shirk from the difficult long term decisions and because only through reform of our international rules and institutions will we achieve concrete, on-the-ground results.”
Mr Brown said that there was a “gaping hole in our ability” to address the illegitimate threats and use of force against innocent peoples. He said that it was to the shame of the whole world that the international community failed to act to prevent genocide in Rwanda.
“But if we are to honour that responsibility to protect we urgently need a new framework to assist reconstruction. With the systematic use of earlier Security Council action, proper funding of peacekeepers, targeted sanctions — and their ratcheting up to include the real threat of international criminal court actions — we must now set in place the first internationally agreed procedures to prevent breakdowns of states and societies.”