Jaishankar Pitches For India On UN Security Council Table
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26: Making a strong pitch for India's inclusion as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that the days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Jaishankar pointed to India's amplification of the voices of the Global South during its G20 presidency and the inclusion of the African Union in the prestigious grouping and said, "This significant step in reform should inspire the United Nations, a much older organisation, to also make the security council contemporary".
Stating that India has moved on from the era of non-alignment to being a vishwamitra, or friend of the world, the minister said, "In our deliberations, we often advocate the promotion of a rules-based order. From time to time, respect for the UN charter is also involved. But for all the talk, it is still a few nations who shape the agenda and seek to define the norms. This cannot go on indefinitely, now will it go unchallenged."
"A fair, equitable and democratic order will surely emerge once we all put our minds to it. And, for a start, that means ensuring that rule-makers do not subjugate rule-takers. After all, rules will work only when they apply equally to all," Jaishankar emphasised.
Pointing out that the United Nations will be holding the 'Summit of the Future' next year, the minister said, "This should serve as a serious opportunity to drive change, champion fairness and reform multilateralism, including the expansion of the security council memberships. We must address global challenges imbued with the conviction that we are one earth and one family, with one future."
Asserting that the diverse international order calls for catering to divergences, if not differences, Jaishankar said, "The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over. As the United Nations itself symbolises, finding common ground is an imperative. To listen to others, and to respect their viewpoints, this is not weakness, it is the basics of cooperation."
In an important statement on how India envisions its role as a leading power, he said, "When we aspire to be a leading power, this is not for self-aggrandisement but to take on greater responsibility and make more contributions. The goals we have set for ourselves will make us different from all those whose rise preceded ours."
"India demonstrated this during the Covid through the Vaccine Maitri initiative. Our endeavours like the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure have gathered wide support. Our espousing of the International Year of Millets is enhancing global food security today," he added.
UN Chief Sends Proposals To Russia To Revive Black Sea Grain Deal
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 1: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that he had sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "a set of concrete proposals" aimed at reviving a deal that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.
Russia quit the deal in July - a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey - complaining that its own food and fertilizer exports faced obstacles and that not enough Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need.
Antonio Guterres' letter comes ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan. Two Turkish sources have said the pair will meet on Monday and primarily discuss Black Sea grain exports.
The Black Sea grain deal was intended to combat a global food crisis that the United Nations said had been worsened by Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are both leading grain exporters.
"I believe we presented a proposal that could be the basis for a renewal, but a renewal that must be stable," Antonio Guterres told reporters, without elaborating on details of the proposal.
"We cannot have a Black Sea initiative that moves from crisis to crisis, from suspension to suspension. We need to have something that works and that works to the benefit of everyone," he said.
A Russian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said earlier on Thursday "there are no revelations" in Antonio Guterres' letter to Lavrov and that it just "sums up of previous UN ideas, which didn't fly."
Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Thursday, after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Moscow, that Russia sees no sign that it will receive the guarantees that will allow it to resume the Black Sea grain deal.
Russia has said that if demands to improve its own exports of grain and fertilizer were met, it would consider resurrecting the Black Sea agreement. One of Moscow's main demands is for the Russian Agricultural Bank to be reconnected to the SWIFT international payments system. The EU cut it off in June 2022.
While Russian exports of food and fertilizer are not subject to Western sanctions imposed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has said restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance have hindered shipments.
"We have some concrete solutions ... allowing for more effective access of Russian food and fertilizers to global markets at adequate prices," Antonio Guterres said. "I believe that, working seriously, we can have a positive solution for everybody."