Reflections of global reality

BANGALORE, India - The UK's prime minister-in-waiting, Gordon Brown, right, yesterday called for a shake-up of the UN and the International Monetary Fund to reflect a new world order.

With only months left before he is expected to take over from Prime Minister Tony Blair, the long-serving finance minister kicked off a three-day visit to India to polish his credentials on the global stage and sketch out a blueprint for foreign policy under a Brown government.

He said the UK would support India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

"After 1990 people wrote about a new world order. What they meant was a new world political order," he said in a speech to industrialists.

"What was not foreseen but is obvious now was how the sheer scale, speed and scope of globalisation was going to transform the global economic order and change the political order too."

The international institutions had to change to reflect this. For instance, the G7 and G8 groups should be expanded to reflect the growing importance of countries such as India and China.

"Together, and in the same spirit, we should focus on modernisation of the UN so that it has the right role for the modern world, not least an effective peacemaker and peacekeeper."

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also had to reflect the changing global reality and focus on crisis prevention, not resolution. - Reuters