SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE MONGOLIA H.E. MR. TSAKHIAGIIN ELBEGDORJ
New Delhi, 14th September 2009
Your Excellency President Elbegdorj,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you and your delegation to India. We are honoured that India is the first country that Your Excellency is visiting after assuming the office of the President of Mongolia in June 2009. You represent a nation and a people with whom India has interacted since time immemorial.
The history of Mongolia fascinates people all around the world, as it shaped the course of history in large parts of Asia and Europe. The cultural and spiritual contacts between India and Mongolia are deep-rooted and go back to ancient times. The message of Lord Buddha was carried from India to your country and adopted with reverence. Buddhism acquired a unique Mongolian identity and continues to provide a close link between our two cultures. As we forge ahead, this enduring cultural relationship provides us with a solid foundation for economic, scientific and technological cooperation between our two countries.
Harmony and tolerance are ingrained in the Indian ethos and tradition. These values are at the root of our pluralistic society and our secular way of life. Also our ancient culture, our humanistic traditions and a long history of indigenous local institutions have enabled us to successfully conduct a democratic system of governance.
We appreciate and welcome the evolution and flourishing of democracy in Mongolia. Your leadership, statesmanship and grass-roots work in strengthening the civil society movement, human rights, freedom of speech and democratic aspirations, are indeed commendable.
Within the framework of democracy, both India and Mongolia are undergoing rapid economic and technological development and social transformation. In this atmosphere both our countries are engaged in mutually beneficial economic, political and cultural cooperation. We would like to further broaden and deepen people- to-people contacts especially at the level of parliamentarians, scholars, students, artists, scientists and businessmen of our two countries.
India is committed to development and inclusive growth. Our effort is to harness science and technology, in particular Information Technology, to empower people, especially women. The Government has taken a decision to set up a National Mission on the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women. I understand Mongolia is equally committed to fast economic growth and bringing about all-round development of the country. India stands committed to assist Mongolia in these endeavours and to share with you our experiences and achievements in these areas.
Excellency, I am glad to know that during your visit a number of agreements have been signed between our two countries for cooperation in various fields. I am confident that these Agreements will further strengthen and broaden our friendly cooperation.
India and Mongolia share common views on international peace, security and development. We are both against the menace of international terrorism that is afflicting our region. We are committed to cooperating to build a just and peaceful world order and for that purpose, to restructure the United Nations in order to reflect the interests and aspirations of the developing countries. We deeply appreciate your support for our aspirations to be represented in a reformed Security Council of the United Nations.
Excellency, we look forward to cooperating with Mongolia for the benefit of our two countries and for the resurgence of our continent, Asia, so that the 21st Century is the Century of Asia.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I now invite you to join me in a toast to:-
- the good health, well-being and success of His Excellency the President of Mongolia, Mr. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Madam Bolormaa;
- the continued progress and prosperity of the people of Mongolia; and
- the everlasting friendship and cooperation between our two countries and peoples.