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India, Africa can’t be excluded from UN Security Council: Sushma Swaraj

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New Delhi: Sushma Swaraj takes charge as the Minister of External Affairs at South Block in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav(PTI5_28_2014_000014B)
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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said India and Africa can no longer be excluded from the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

She said the 70th session of the UN General Assembly was an opportune moment to achieve concrete results on this long pending issue.

Speaking at the ministerial meeting of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit here, the minister said that unless there were more democratic global governance structures, a more equitable international security and development framework will continue to elude the world.

She said more democratic global structures were essential for the collective peace and prosperity of the world and there can no longer be pockets of prosperity in vast areas of underdevelopment and insecurity.

“India and Africa can no longer be excluded from their rightful place of the permanent membership of the UN Security Council,” she said.

“How can we expect legitimacy from a governance structure that excludes the entire African continent and a country, which represents one-sixth of humanity?

“The 70th session of the UN General Assembly is an opportune moment to achieve concrete results on this long pending issue,” she added.

The minister said India welcomed the progress achieved during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly under the leadership of Sam Kutesa towards commencing text-based negotiations.

“We look forward to working together in an active negotiating process to take this forward,” she said.

The minister said that the world has just celebrated the 70th year of the establishment of the United Nations.

“Although Indians and Africans comprise nearly 2.5 billion people, our nations continue to be excluded from appropriate representation in the institutions of global governance,” she said.

Referring to UN peacekeeping, she said it is another area where India and Africa have a long history of cooperation.

The minister said that over 180,000 Indian troops have participated in UN peacekeeping missions – more than from any other country.

The minister said that greater involvement of the troops contributing countries in the decision making process, including formulation of mandates and provision of adequate resources, is essential for the success of such endeavours.

She said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced last month that India will further scale up its participation in UN peacekeeping operations, including by providing training for African peacekeepers at facilities in India and in the field.

“Our all-female formed police unit to the UN Mission in Liberia, a first in UN history, has proved to be an inspiration for women everywhere. However, the new international security environment and the evolving nature of conflicts are posing new challenges to the effectiveness of traditional peacekeeping missions,” she said.

(IANS)

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly

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Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India
Pakistan Exploits Situation In Jammu & Kashmir: India. flickr

India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly while it was discussing an important issue.

“Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Monday.

He was replying to a reference to Kashmir made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi during a debate on the Right to Protect People against crimes against humanity.

“While we are having this serious debate for the first time in a decade on an issue that is of importance to all of us, we have witnessed that one delegation has, yet again, misused this platform to make an unwarranted reference to the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bayyapu said.

“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he added.

Lodhi had said that many of the victims of killings and “mass-blinding” are “in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and that they “have the further indignity of living under an illegal and alien occupation”.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi. flickr

“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she said.

However, Lodhi also said: “At its core, the responsibility to protect, is not a license to intervene in external situations, but, is instead, a universal principle of ‘non-indifference’, in keeping with historical context and cultural norms of respective settings.”

Also read: Women-Driven Rickshaw Program Creating Sensation in Pakistan

“We should also be mindful that the notion of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ does not become a mere re-enactment of the discredited ‘humanitarian interventions’ of the past,” she added. (IANS)