UN needs reforms to address new challenges: India

03 October 2015

Sushma Swaraj External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj today made a push for UN Security Council reforms, saying that the world body appears to have become an ''ineffective institution'' as it has failed to address the new challenges to international peace and security.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Swaraj said the ''historic'' occasion of its 70th anniversary was an opportune time for ''historic'' outcomes.

The UN, she said, now ''appears as an ineffective institution'' as it has not been able to prevent conflicts or find a permanent solution to these conflicts. Nor has it been able to show the path of peace to the world which is going the way of violence.

While the United Nations has been successful in preventing a third world war, in assisting decolonisation and dismantling apartheid, in combating global epidemics and reducing global hunger, and in promoting democracy and human rights, it has not been effective in preventing conflicts taking place in several parts of the world, she said.

''Today, the world is ravaged by war in three continents with the Security Council being unable or unwilling to stanch the flow of blood. Traditional solutions that emphasize force have only proven to exacerbate problems. We must ask ourselves if we have the political will to craft alternatives to conflict and to pursue them with commitment and single-minded dedication.''

Highlighting the role of UN peacekeepers in conflict zones, she said, ''Under the blue flag, several men and women are constantly working to prevent conflict, protect civilians and sustain peace processes. With 180,000 peacekeepers deployed so far, India has been the largest provider of international security by the UN.''

''Even today, about 8,000 Indian military and police personnel are participating in 10 missions, operating in highly challenging environments,'' she added.

''India remains committed to continue supporting the UN Peacekeeping Operations and even enhance our contributions, as announced by our Prime Minister at the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping. Our new contributions will cover all aspects of peacekeeping - personnel, enablers and training,'' Swaraj said.

She, however, said peacekeeping operations cannot be a substitute for political solutions and called for the Security Council to formulate its peacekeeping mandates in consultation with troop contributing countries.

But, traditional solutions that emphasize force have only proven to exacerbate problems, she added.

She emphasised that UN Security Council reform is the ''most urgent and pressing need'' and called for inclusion of more developing nations in the decision making structures of the world body.

Swaraj said that in order to preserve the ''centrality and legitimacy'' of the UN as the custodian of global peace, security and development, the reform of the Security Council is its ''most urgent and pressing need.''

''This is the need of the hour. How can we have a Security Council in 2015 which still reflects the geo-political architecture of 1945? How can we have a Security Council which still does not give place as a permanent member to Africa and Latin America?,'' she questioned.

Swaraj underscored the need for including more developing nations in the decision making structures of the Security Council and to change the way it does business by doing away with outdated and non-transparent working methods.

''Imparting more legitimacy and balance to the Council would restore its credibility and equip it to confront the challenges of our times,'' she said.

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