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Press release

Indian President speaks of three "Indo-European missions" to promote global peace and prosperity

External relations - 25-04-2007 - 14:07
Plenary sessions
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The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, welcomed "with great pleasure" the President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, to address the house at the Plenary Session today. With reference to Dr Kalam's role as "an architect of the Indian Space and Nuclear program", President Pöttering said "We are very pleased that India is benefiting in research programmes funded by the EU and is working together with the EU on Galileo."

President Pöttering also noted that Dr Kalam's election as President of the Republic of India was impressive, for "as a Tamil and a Muslim in a country where the Hindus have a majority, this was not a trivial success." It was testament, President Pöttering added, to Dr Kalam's ability to "appeal to people of many different cultures and religions."
Mr Pottering went on to say that it was a "great pleasure to be able announce today that the EP last month set up a special European Parliament delegation for relations with India." Such a delegation "shows the great significance which India has for the EU."
President Kalam praises the EU
Beginning with a reference to "the unique place in human history" of European civilisation, President Kalam expressed his admiration for the European Union as "an example for connectivity among nations, probably with no possibility of war, leading to lasting regional peace." The EU is strongly connected to India "by language, by culture, by ancient beliefs [and] ideologies", which has helped foster "a sustained trade and intellectually satisfying collaboration in many areas."
Co-operation for the future
President Kalam stressed that both India and the European Union are "conscious of the need for growth to respect the environment and make it sustainable for future generations." This objective, he said, requires a level of co-operation that will produce "a win-win situation for all, so that we can have a politically and socio-economically emergent civilization."
Indo-European Missions
With these aims in mind, President Kalam said that he hopes to begin "three important Indo-European missions which can contribute to global peace and prosperity." These missions are in response to a specific challenge, namely: "How do we evolve righteousness, in the hearts of every citizen of the world?"
The "evolution of enlightened society"
The first of these missions, the "evolution of enlightened society", would constitute a "methodology for evolving a happy, prosperous and peaceful society in our planet".  This would be achieved through educating today's children about the common moral values we share, so that "righteousness in the heart is developed in young minds."
President Kalam explained that this involved the need to develop spirituality on a global scale, so as enable universal understanding of the importance of "a good human life and welfare of the society, while pursuing the material life." The challenge, President Kalam added, was this: "Can we bridge the spiritual component of the religions to bring peace to nations and to the world?"
Economic development is equally important in the evolution of enlightened society, President Kalam continued. It is essential to "ensure that the citizens are empowered with good quality of life encompassing nutritious food, good habitat, clean environment, affordable healthcare, quality education and productive employment." On this basis, President Kalam proposed to "realize the vision of transforming India into a developed nation before 2020."
Energy independence
Seventeen percent of the world's population lives in India. However, less than one percent of the world's known oil and natural gas resources can be found there. Still, India will have to considerably step up its power generating capacity from the current 130,000 MW to 400,000 MW by the year 2030.
Energy independence is thus the second of the three Indo-European missions. "Energy independence has got to be achieved through three different sources namely renewable energy, electrical power from nuclear energy and bio-fuel for the transport sector", President Kalam stated. He suggested setting up an “Indo-EU Renewable Energy Development programme”. This programme should lead "to an availability of commercial class, large-scale power plants within the next decade".
Establishing a World Knowledge Platform
The third mission is what President Kalam called a "World Knowledge Platform" to combine the skills of the EU and India in science and technology and produce global applications in areas such as agriculture and food processing, knowledge products, human resources, disaster prediction and management. The "combined strengths of the nations can be utilised to the mutual advantage of both India and the EU", the President pointed out.
Reinforcing the "strategic partnership"
In conclusion, President Kalam expressed confidence that the three Indo-European missions "will definitely reinforce further our strategic partnership", leading to a change in the lives of many people. Together, the EU and India can achieve much through the co-operation which arises from the "visible common thread of our dreams and problems."
REF.: 20070420IPR05688