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‘Hard nuts can be cracked’, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on UNSC reforms

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar agreed that reforms at the United Nations Security Council(UNSC) are akin to a ‘hard nut’ but said hard nuts can be cracked while speaking at Sydney’s Lowy Institute on Tuesday. The EAM was asked a question on UNSC reforms when he made the remarks.

“Well, it’s a hard nut but hard nuts can be cracked,” EAM said while addressing the gathering at Lowy Institute.

Jaishankar while talking about difficulties in reforming the UN Security council said “I will not let the difficulties of that challenge deter me or discourage me. In fact, I would put it the other way around… there are whole continents today which actually feel that the security council processes do not take into account their interests” 

The EAM also raised the issue that the problems faced by Global South were being brushed aside, especially in the context of the Ukraine conflict including of food, fuel and fertilizers.

“If you go to the UN General assembly and talk to countries, there are countries in Africa, Latin America and the small island states quite apart from Asia and India who feel very strongly that this is not their UN and that is hugely damaging to the UN” he added while talking about UNSC reforms.

He added,”We all know why reform has been blocked for so many years I think it is important to keep up the pressure, there is global sentiment out there. We completely understand this is not something that is going to be done easily and necessarily speedily but it is something that has to be done. Otherwise, we will end up frankly, with an increasingly irrelevant United Nations”

Jaishankar felt US President Joe Biden’s comments during the UN General Assembly reforming the UNSC were not a ‘small development’. 

Biden had called for increasing the number of permanent and non-permanent seats at the UNSC during his UNGA address while advocating for seats for countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UNSC comprises 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent member countries. The non-permanent countries are elected for a period of 2 years by the United Nations General Assembly. The 5 permanent UNSC member countries include Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States. 

India has been pushing for the long-pending reforms at the Security council while emphasizing that merits a place at the UNSC as a permanent member. India’s candidacy has also been proposed by many leaders including US President Joe Biden last year.

India, one of the founding members of the world body has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council seven times during the years- 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and most recently in 2011-2012.

 

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