As the current President of the UN Security Council (UNSC), India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on Pakistan and China for obstructing global war against terrorism, while laying out New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System (NORMS) in the United Nations.
Presiding over the Council’s open debate on ‘Maintenance of International Peace and Security: NORMS ’, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called out the country that harboured Osama bin Laden as the “epicentre of terrorism”.
He also exposed how a multilateral platform like the UNSC was being misused by China to justify and protect perpetrators of terrorism through its continued blocking of UN sanctions on Pakistan-based terrorists.
New global challenges
With a focus on ‘Call for Change’ in the functional apparatus of multilateral bodies such as the UNSC, India stressed the urgency for NORMS to determine a global order that best reflects contemporary realities.
Asserting that UN reform has been left open-ended without a set timeline and the Security Council far from reflects true diversity, a concept note by India said new global challenges such as terrorism, radicalism, pandemics, disruptive role of non-State actors and intensifying geopolitical competition call for a robust multilateral response and nimble platform to ensure peace.
Unfortunately, the debate on equitable representation and increase in UNSC membership has “meandered aimlessly” over last three decades while “the real world” has changed dramatically.
This is frustrating for a country like India, which has emerged as the world’s fastest growing economy and has already acquired a leadership role in fighting against global challenges as the President of G20.
India is the worst victim of cross-border terrorism sponsored from Pakistan finding multilateral refuge among the Chinese diplomats. China has blocked the UN listing of a number of Pakistanbased terrorists.
Following his address, Jaishankar tore apart Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto’s assertion that adding new permanent members “will add to the paralysis on the working of UNSC”. He questioned Pakistan’s credentials as a country that hosted terrorist leaders like Osama Bin Laden and sponsored an open attack on India’s Parliament 2001.
India’s case for a permanent membership of the UNSC has received increasing support from most UN members. The existing UN system’s inability to address the challenges of global terrorism, food security underlines the need for “more broad-based global governance”.
It was thanks to India’s role that many vulnerable nations of the Global South got their first (Covid-9) vaccines. In the midst of the Ukraine crisis also, it is only India whose views are respected by members of both the warring groups. It is time, the overdue UN reforms are ushered in and India gets its rightful place in the comity of nations.