From the Asia-Pacific category for the 2021-22 term, India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat and its victory is a given as it is the only candidate which is contesting for the lone seat from the grouping.
Elections for five non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) will be held on June 17. France has taken over the presidency of the 15-nation council for the month of June.
From the Asia-Pacific category for the 2021-22 term, India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat and its victory is a given as it is the only candidate which is contesting for the lone seat from the grouping. Last year in June, the candidature of New Delhi was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, which included China and Pakistan.
The last time India was a non-permanent member of UNSC was in the years 1950- 1951, 1967- 1968, 1972- 1973, 1977- 1978, 1984- 1985, 1991- 1992 and most recently in 2011- 2012.
Ambassador TS Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, New York, speaks to Financial Express Online on the eve of elections to the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the period 2021-22. Following are excerpts of his interaction with Huma Siddiqui:
What does the election to UNSC mean for India?
India’s presence in the Security Council will ensure that the voice of the largest democracy in the world with strong multilateral credentials will be heard in an important organ of the United Nations. India has always had a global voice and this will give India a greater opportunity to participate actively and shape the COVID-19 and post-COVID scenario. The Global South has its development and security aspirations and India will help articulate these aspirations in the Council across a gamut of issues. Consequently, I am confident that the voice of India in the Security Council will be a voice of reason, hope and action.
How do you see the support of India in the run-up to the UNSC elections? What are our chances?
There is no doubt that we have received tremendous support for our candidature. However, the run-up to the elections has also given us an opportunity to convey to the member states of the United Nations our priorities as well as to listen to their own views and concerns. As you are aware, External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar has launched a set of five overarching priorities for our stint in the Security Council. Since my arrival here recently, I myself have spoken to a wide cross-section of Permanent Representatives to sensitize them on our priorities. Our reaching out has been widely appreciated.
Since UN Security Council deals primarily with international peace and security, how does India view these issues?
We have always brought a unique and important perspective to issues related to peace and security. Firstly, our strong developmental credentials will help us progress our agenda on development and peace. Secondly, we have been at the forefront of articulating issues relating to traditional and non-traditional security threats. Further, combating terrorism is a central focus of our efforts, keeping in mind the decades of cross border terrorism India has faced. Peacekeeping has been always part of our tradition and history vis-a-vis UN Security Council and our contribution to UN peacekeeping has been second to none. We need to look closely at their mandate to help focus peacekeeping efforts and provide greater protection to peacekeeping forces. India will also bring a unique perspective on the use of technology for development and peace given the tremendous strides we have undertaken in recent years. Last but not the least, the reform of the Security Council is in itself an important goal to bring about greater representation, inclusiveness and credibility to the UN and reflect contemporary realities.