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India’s UNSC priorities find ‘resonance’ in declaration to commemorate UN’s 75th anniversary


UNITED NATIONS: India‘s priorities for its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council has found “resonance” in a draft declaration finalised to commemorate the global body’s 75th anniversary, echoing New Delhi’s calls for a strong mandate against terrorism, reformed multilateralism and inclusive development.

President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande said on Tuesday that a consensus has been achieved among the member states on the draft declaration.

He will transmit the final draft to his successor Volkan Bozkir to prepare the text for its adoption at the high-level meeting of the Assembly to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, scheduled for September 21 this year.

The declaration outlines the priorities of the world organisation and calls for greater action and international cooperation to meet varied global challenges in the years ahead.

Significantly, the declaration “echoes” India’s concerns and priorities that the country has outlined as it readies to sit at the horseshoe table of the Security Council in 2021-22, UN sources here said.

The sources said that India played an active role during the negotiation process, working constructively with the President of General Assembly, co-facilitators and like-minded member states to ensure a “concise, substantive, forward-looking and unifying text”.

Effective response to international terrorism, reforming multilateral systems, comprehensive approach to peace and security, technology with a human touch and inclusive solutions to foster development are India’s priorities for its UNSC tenure and these are reflected in the declaration that the UN will adopt to mark 75 years of its founding.

“We welcome the finalisation of the declaration on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

“I am happy that all our priorities for our stint in the Security Council from 2021 onwards find resonance in the text,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti told PTI.

The declaration lists a strong mandate against terrorism and violent extremism.

“The United Nations must better address all forms and domains of threats. Terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism are serious threats to international peace and security,” it said, adding that the UN member states fully support and promote the Secretary-General’s initiative for a global ceasefire.

India’s UNSC priorities say that it is committed to combating the “menace” of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and during its tenure, New Delhi will pursue concrete and result-oriented action by the Council to combat the scourge.

The declaration’s emphasis on reinvigorated multilateralism to deal with the interconnected global challenges, particularly as brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic, echoes India’s priority of “reformed multilateralism,” which New Delhi has said is “a must for the post-COVID era.”

“The world of today is very different from what it was when the United Nations was created 75 years ago,” the Declaration said, adding “We support the ongoing reforms by the Secretary-General. They are creating a more agile, effective, and accountable organisation that can deliver better in the field and adapt to global challenges… We commit to instill a new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council and continue the work to revitalise the General Assembly…”

India’s clarion call for a “reformed multilateralism” highlights that reform of the Security Council is a “first and vital step” and the powerful UN organ “must reflect contemporary realities to be more effective.”

The sources said that India has been at the forefront of nations highlighting the inadequacy of the existing multilateral institutions to meet the emerging challenges.

The declaration “neatly ties” in with the priorities that India has set for its 2021-22 Council tenure, including the call for inclusive solutions, strong language against terrorism, reformed multilateralism and technology with a human touch, they said.

India has said that as a rule-abiding democracy, it will work constructively with partners to bring innovative and inclusive solutions to foster development.

Among its UNSC priorities is a call for greater involvement of women and youth to shape a new paradigm.

It has also emphasised on the “technology with a human touch” and expressed commitment that it will encourage partnerships to harness the benefits of technological innovation to reduce human suffering, enhance ease of living and build resilient communities – reflecting India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’- the world is one family.

The declaration emphasises that “we will leave no one behind” and “boost partnerships”, adding that “Today’s challenges require cooperation not only across borders but also across the whole of society.”

It says that the heads of state and government representing the peoples of the world “will place women and girls at the center”, asserting that conflicts will not be resolved, and sustainable development not occur, without the equal and active participation of women at all levels.

It also calls for “meaningful engagement with youth.”

The declaration’s emphasis on “a shared vision on digital cooperation” and addressing digital trust and security is in line with India’s priority of a “shared vision of the direction of technological progress to ensure technology remains a force for good.”

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