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UPDATED: 09:54, June 15, 2004
Former Indian president: Five Principles should be world's code of conduct
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The appropriate code of conduct for a globalized world should be the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and not the over-lordship of one super power or group of nations, said former Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan Monday.

Addressing a two-day international seminar that opened Monday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the initiation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Narayanan noted that the United Nations should be at the core of the world order.

"I believe that China and India as the co-authors of the Five Principles could work together to bring about such a democratic transformation of the world body to serve the interests and the aspirations of mankind as a whole," he said.

The former Indian president acknowledged that the Five Principles arose from the civilizational matrix of Asia and was a new and creative contribution to the theory and practice of international relations from the ancient continent of Asia. "It is, I believe, of continuing relevance to the vastly changed and changing world of today and tomorrow."

He went on to say that the immediate context of the principles was that of regulating the relations between India and China and "rarely in the history of international relations, the principles of an agreement between two countries, in this case China and India, were accepted, almost universally, by countries, and finally the United Nations itself."

The combined population of China and India is over two billion, comprising two fifths of humanity, he noted. "China is today dazzling the world with its economic progress, and India too has broken out of its slow growth syndrome and has become a moving changing progressive economy. At this new stage of development, there is much that India and China can exchange with each other and cooperate with each other."

He expressed the belief that in the new century, cooperation between the two large countries of Asia and the world is a historical necessity. "It is our internationalist duty to march further forward and to revitalize our friendly relationship and project the Five Principles for the peace, progress and stability of the world."

The Five Principles, initiated by China, India and Myanmar in 1954, include mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

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