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Ahead of Security Council election, India stresses on ‘dialogue, mutual respect’

Written by Shubhajit Roy
| New Delhi |

Published: June 6, 2020 2:11:24 am

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (File Photo)

Ahead of the elections for a non-permanent UN Security Council seat, India on Friday said it will work towards a comprehensive approach to peace and security, “guided by dialogue, mutual respect and commitment to international law”. This statement is part of a document spelling out the country’s priorities ahead of the elections scheduled for June 17. The approach is being perceived as a veiled reference to China amid the tension at the Line of Actual Control at Ladakh.

Releasing the document, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday outlined several challenges to international peace: “The normal process of international governance has been under increasing strain as frictions have increased; traditional and non-traditional security challenges continue to grow unchecked; global institutions remain unreformed and under-representative; and the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions will test the world like never before.”

“In this extraordinary situation, India can play a positive global role. We have always been a voice of reason and a votary of international law. We advocate dialogue, consultation and fairness in our approach to global issues,” Jaishankar said.

The non-permanent Security Council seat will have a two-year term beginning January 2021. India’s victory is certain as it is the sole candidate vying for the lone seat from the Asia-Pacific grouping.

Its candidature was unanimously endorsed in June last year by the 55 members of the regional grouping, including China and Pakistan.

Jaishankar also laid out India’s “Five-S” approach to the world: Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), and Shanti (Peace); to create conditions for universal Samriddhi (Prosperity). “Through this approach, we seek to move toward a ‘New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System’, or NORMS,” he said.

The minister said India’s priorities would include “seeking responsible and inclusive solutions; concrete and result-oriented action at the Security Council for an effective response to international terrorism; reformed multilateralism to reflect contemporary realities; a comprehensive approach to peace and security, guided by dialogue, mutual respect, commitment to international law, for which we also hope to help streamline UN peacekeeping; and technology with a human touch”.

He also said India will “work constructively with partners to overcome old and new faultlines, and offer innovative and inclusive solutions”, “help developing countries obtain the necessary support to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic”, “help focus more on development”, “enhance transparency, credibility, representation and finally effectiveness of the Council, thereby promoting its institutional reform” and “support greater involvement of women and youth in shaping a new paradigm”.

The UN General Assembly has decided to hold elections for the five non-permanent members of the Security Council under the new voting arrangements due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for the seven times, most recently in 2011-2012.

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