United Nations: India’s presence in the United Nations Security Council will help bring to the world its ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, the country’s envoy to the global body has said, ahead of elections for the non-permanent seat of the powerful UN organ.
India is all set to join the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, elections for which will be held on June 17.
India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat from the Asia-Pacific category for the 2021-22 term. Its victory is a given since it is the sole candidate vying for the lone seat from the grouping.
New Delhi’s candidature was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, including China and Pakistan, in June last year.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti, in a video message on Friday, underscored that the United Nations as well as the multilateralism need to change to reflect the contemporary realities and remain credible as the world organisation marks its 75th anniversary this year.
“India’s journey with the United Nations is quite a remarkable one. As a founding member of the United Nations, India’s contribution to implementing the goals of the United Nations Charter and to the evolution of UN specialised agencies and programmes has been substantial. In many ways, quite extraordinary,” he said.
“I’m confident that at a time when we are poised to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and later the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022, India’s presence in the Security Council will help bring to the world our ethos that the world is one family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” Tirumurti said.
Ahead of the elections, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has outlined New Delhi’s priorities for its candidature.
India’s focus will be on the ‘New Orientation For A Reformed Multilateral System’ (NORMS).
India’s priorities include new opportunities for progress, effective response to the international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to peace and security and technology with a human touch.
Tirumurti said as the UN commemorates its 75th anniversary this year, “it is clear to us that the United Nations and indeed multilateralism itself need to change to reflect the contemporary realities to enable them to remain effective and credible.”
The envoy referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a reformed multilateralism and multilateral system as essential to ensure that the international system is inclusive and caters to the requirements of all countries, which will in turn facilitate stronger actions.
“We also believe that the current crisis that we face, especially in the context of the COVID-19, provide the seed for new opportunities,” Tirumurti said.
Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the years 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and most recently in 2011-2012.
India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the UNSC, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st century.
The video message outlined India’s role and contribution to the UN over the decades, including its leadership role in the UN peacekeeping, launch of the India Human Development Partnership Fund, Modi’s call to commemorate International Yoga Day and India’s gift of the Gandhi Solar Park installed on the roof of the UN headquarters.
It also highlighted the pioneering men and women from India whose contribution helped shape the world organisation.
They include Arcot Ramaswamy Mudaliar, the first president of the UN Economic and Social Council ECOSOC in 1946; reformer and educator Hansa Mehta, India’s delegate to the UN Commission on Human Rights from 1947 to 1948, who is widely credited with making a significant change in the language of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by replacing the phrase “All men are born free and equal” to “All human beings are born free and equal”.
Lakshmi Menon was India’s delegate to the Third Committee in 1948 and argued forcefully in the favour of non-discrimination based on sex and Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit who was the first woman to be elected as the President of the General Assembly in 1953.
“Independent India deemed its membership of the United Nations as an important guarantee for maintaining peace and security. We stood at the forefront, not just in the United Nations but outside it as well during the years of struggle against colonialism and apartheid,” Tirumurti added.