BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR
OF DR. SAM NUJOMA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA
AND MRS. KOVAMBO NUJOMA
NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, JULY21, 1999
Your Excellency President Sam Nujoma,
Kovambo Nujoma and
Distinguished members of the Namibian delegation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
is with great pleasure that my wife and I extend to you a warm welcome,
on behalf of the Government and the people of India. We welcome you,
Excellency, as one of the leaders of the struggle for African freedom
and as a good and ardent friend of India. Each visit of yours to our
country has provided us an occasion to recall the memories of our common
struggle against colonialism and apartheid and to proclaim our solidarity
in the new struggle for a just world order in which as Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru envisaged at the dawn of our independence "there is free co-operation
of free peoples, and no class or group exploits another".
I had the privilege of having been present at Windhoek in March 1990
together with our Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a part
of the delegation headed by the then Prime Minister of India to felicitate
you at that historic moment when South West Africa stepped on to the
world stage as free and independent Namibia. It was the culmination
of the long and heroic struggle of your brave people under the leadership
of Your Excellency.
nine years have passed since that eventful day. During this relatively
short period we have seen how democracy has grown and taken root, and
how a tolerant pluralist society has evolved in your country. We have
watched the primacy you have given to the rule of law. We have followed
the pragmatic steps you have taken to build a modern economy on the
foundation of upgraded infra-structure. Your policies have already begun
to give rich dividends. Walvis Bay, the old colonial outpost, has become
a bustling economic centre and Namibia has been adjudged one of the
four most competitive economies in Africa. We have admired the policy
of reconciliation you have pursued and we have rejoiced to see Namibia
become a veritable "island of peace and harmony" in Southern Africa.
These achievements are the fruits of the quiet democratic revolution
that has been ushered in under your wise and imaginative leadership.
is a gladdening augury for our future co-operation that the bilateral
relations between our two countries have grown and expanded since 1990.
Excellency, I am more than optimistic about the future of our many-sided
co-operation. There are several areas in which India's developmental
experiences can perhaps be of direct relevance to Namibia. I recall
in this context some of our achievements in Agriculture, particularly
in foodgrains production and in the medium and small scale sectors of
industry. We have a host of technologies that are appropriate to the
conditions of developing countries. We have been engaged in co-operation
with Namibia in the development of human resources and may I reiterate
our commitment to support Namibia in this and other fields of development.
the international arena we have worked together in the past for the
liberation of Asia and Africa from the shackles of colonialism. We have
also worked together for world peace and made a difference to the final
outcome in the end of the cold war. The world has to-day changed and
is changing. The old phenomenon of bi-polar world rivalry and conflict
has been superceded by signs of an emerging unipolar world order. In
this context the developing and non-aligned countries have a role to
play in asserting the multi-polarity of the world and striving to preserve
the individual identities and the essential independence of nations.
The co-operation among developing nations, the so called South-South
co-operation has become an essential factor in the balance of the new
world order. India sees the bilateral co-operation between India, Namibia
and other developing countries as the fundamental starting point of
a larger South-South Co-operation. The revival and strengthening of
the policy of non-alignment and the solidarity of the non-aligned movement
is an indispensable element of multi-polarity in the world. In this
context we are happy to note that in the international arena the voice
of Namibia is heard with attention and respect.
We are delighted to
see Namibia playing its role in the Security Council. The imminent assumption
of the Presidentship of the U.N. General Assembly by your Foreign Minister,
His Excellency Gurirab is both a recognition of the importance of Namibia
in African and world affairs and a fine manifestation of the emergence
of democratic and assertive Africa. We recall the sense of fulfilment
when in 1953 India's delegate Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was elected
President of the U.N. General Assembly. Our sense of satisfaction would
not be less when a Namibian would be chosen as the President of the
is a marked convergence of outlook and views between our two countries
on world issues. Your support for India's candidature of the expanded
Security Council is of great value for us. We are also grateful to you
for the understanding shown for our security concerns.
meet to-day, Excellency, at the threshold of a new millennium. We have
jointly shouldered the challenges of the past. We have to now work to
fulfil the potential of the future. In this endeavour we see in you
not only a representative of Africa but a spokesman of the new and more
equal world order that both our countries are committed to bring about.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I request you to join me in raising a toast
the health and happiness of President Sam Nujoma and Madame Nujoma
peace, prosperity and happiness for the people of Namibia; and
ever-lasting India-Namibia friendship.