AA Edit | PM plain-speaking to G-7 over China, Ukraine & UN

The Indian Prime Minister brought to G-7 a wider perspective in broaching the issue of some nations including Russia and China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke some home truths to G-7 leaders in Hiroshima about the concerns of a more strident Global South and the need for the United Nations and its Security Council to think and act more assertively about the issues facing the world. As an invited guest of the leaders of the most advanced countries, he was not an outlier as much as a current ally of the USA that provides G-7 and the West its motive force in many common issues facing the free world.

Mr Modi is not the first leader from outside the charmed circle of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (who have the veto power to protect their interests and their allies) to speak up on the ineffectual nature of the world body. Nor will he be the last. But it has always been evident that the UN, which passed the danger point of descending into a “talk shop” long ago, has never been able to do much about resolving conflicts, except, of course, to recommend the diplomacy and dialogue route, much as Mr Modi himself did in talking of the Ukraine war with its President Zolodymyr Zelensky.

The Indian Prime Minister brought to G-7 a wider perspective in broaching the issue of some nations including Russia and China, but without naming them, challenging the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other nations. While India, much to its chagrin, has been facing for decades the issue of its territorial integrity with China’s claims along its border, there is no question that Ukraine was invaded in 2014 with the taking of Crimea and since February 2022 when a full-scale war was thrust upon it by Russia, because of which actions Russia had also lost its place at the G-7 table.

The ambivalence of last year regarding Ukraine has been buried by Mr Modi’s unequivocal statement to G-7 in pointing out the breach of territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations. Not that the invaders with ambitions of territorial acquisitiveness, impelled by illogical motivation found in history or otherwise, are going to be too affected by such criticism in global forums and yet to stand up and say it had been India’s duty all along. The principle remains unchanged regardless of how India may have benefited from its closeness to Russia, with deep defence ties, in terms of being able to buy oil at discounted prices.

Whatever might be the bleak history of US interventions, the nation is currently rallying the free world in Ukraine’s cause — and nothing can portray its plight more than the destruction of the city of Bakhmut for no reason other than that it is in the Ukraine of today which seeks protection under a western umbrella. There is no challenging the fact that what the Prime Minister said is appropriate in the current scenario of an interconnected globe in which the misery of war and its deadly effects, are felt by all nations, but with greater intensity in the developing or not so well-off countries. And the UN is probably the last place at which anything can be done about it.

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