India said that its overall objective would be reforms in global multilateral institutions.
New Delhi: India was on Thursday elected by United Nations (UN) member-countries overwhelmingly for a non-permanent seat to the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) for a two year-term.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)’s Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup told reporters on Thursday evening at a special virtual briefing that enhancing counter-terrorism measures would be one of India’s main priorities”. He said India would seek “streamlining” of the process of sanctions against terrorists and terror entities, adding that the process of imposing sanctions needs to be de-politicised as there is no justification for any act of terrorism.
The comments are extremely significant as India faces cross-border terrorism from Pakistan. Asked about reported critical comments made by Pakistani officials on India’s candidature, the senior MEA official lashed out at Pakistan, saying it has always tried to raise bilateral issues in a multilateral fora.
Swarup said India had been elected “unopposed” as it was “the sole candidate for the Asia-Pacific seat. He also thanked the Afghan Government, saying this was because Afghanistan had withdrawn in India’s favour way back in 2013.
He also said India’s electoral performance on Thursday has been “one of its best-ever” electoral performances at the UN, pointing out that India secured much more than the threshold (minimum number of two-thirds which is 128) to win the election. A whopping 184 out of the total 192 UN member-nations voted for India. This will be India’s eighth term in the UNSC.
Generally, the elections are conducted through secret ballot as per procedure although there were reportedly certain “new voting arrangements” put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It may be recalled India has been pushing for a permanent seat in the UNSC that has five permanent members and 10 non-permanent ones. The five permanent members of the UNSC — called the “P-5”— are the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China. It is India’s belief that global multilateral institutions like the United Nations itself need reform now as they do not reflect the realities of the contemporary world.
Soon after the victory, senior diplomat and India’s recently-appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said, “I am truly delighted that India has been elected as a non-permanet member of the UNSC for 2021-22. We have received overwhelming support and I am deeply humbled by the tremendous confidence the member States of the UN have reposed in India.”
He added, “Our election to the UNSC is a testament to PM Modi’s vision and his inspiring global leadership, particularly in the time of Covid-19. The outcome is a reflection of the strong campaign led by EAM S. Jaishankar. India will become a member of the UNSC at a critical juncture. And we are confident that in the COVID and post-COVID world, India will continue to provide leadership and a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system.”
It may be recalled that India had earlier this month said it would “very likely” win the elected non-permanent seat. New Delhi had also listed its five priorities at the UN, including an effective response to international terrorism. India had also said that its overall objective would be reforms in global multilateral institutions.
The government had also emphasised India's “long-standing role as a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue, and a proponent of international law”.
In a statement issued earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said India’s five priorities would be “new opportunities for progress, an effective response to international terrorism, reforming the multilateral system, a comprehensive approach to international peace and security, and promoting technology with a human touch as a driver of solutions”.