BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING THE CRENDENTIALS
FROM SIR JOHN ROBERTSON YOUNG KCMG, HIGH COMMISSIONER-DESIGNATE
OF THE UNITED KINGDOM TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY,
JANUARY 20, 1999
I have great pleasure
in welcoming you to India and in accepting the Letters of Commission from
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II designating you as Her High Commissioner
Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India. I would also like to take this
opportunity to thank Her Majesty for her greetings and good wishes, which
I reciprocate most cordially.
I welcome you as the
representative of a country with which our links are not just special, but
You assume your responsibilities
in India, Mr.High Commissioner, at a time when we have just completed fifty
years of independence. This has been a period of challenges, of rare opportunity
and, despite many difficulties, a period of great achievements. We have,
through the system of parliamentary democracy that works in three broad
tiers across the whole country, blended the rich diversities of our cultures
into a composite whole. We have, at the same time, continued to consciously
nurture the pluralistic character of our society. Independent India has
established a strong secular and democratic framework that vouchsafes the
freedom of different faiths and political beliefs.
We have striven over
the last five decades to provide food security to our people and also build
up, simultaneously, a substantial industrial capacity. In this task, we
have achieved a great measure of success in several areas which has been
recognised widely in the world.
Our scientists have also
achieved remarkable successes in crucial areas such as software and information
technology, genetics, space research and atomic energy.
however, still lie ahead in terms of meeting the needs of our growing population
with its many levels of development, spread over our vast and variegated
During the present decade,
India has embarked on a course of opening its economy to increasing participation
by the private sector and to freer collaboration with the outside world.
This offers vast opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation with
Mr. High Commissioner,
globalisation has brought nations into close inter-dependence and a perception
of intertwined common interests.
Globalisation also means
that a tremor in any part of the world reverberates, inevitably, in geographically
distant regions. It is unfortunate that the present world order tends to
perpetuate inequality in matters of economic and strategic security of nations.
We remain deeply concerned by the spread and the stockpiles of weapons of
mass destruction with a global reach in the world.
We believe that global
security can be ensured only within an international system that is based
on just, democratic and non-discriminatory principles. We trust that the
next century will witness a more equitable, just, peaceful and cooperative
Mr. High Commissioner,
apart from our historical ties our common membership of the Commonwealth
and the presence of a large Indian community in your country, the United
Kingdom is an important economic partner for India. We sincerely appreciate
the cooperation which has existed between our two countries in the areas
of development activities and are confident that this cooperation will continue
to grow significantly in the coming century.
As this century draws
to a close we look forward to an intensified dialogue between our two countries
in order to promote a better understanding of each other's concerns and
perspectives on bilateral and global issues. This would further strengthen
our ties in various fields in the coming years, based on a relationship
of mutual respect.
I am confident that your
tenure in India will be professionally and personally fulfilling for you.
Mr. High Commissioner, I would like to wish you and your family a happy
and successful tenure in India. I assure you of the fullest cooperation
of my government in the performance of your duties.