India wraps UNSC presidency with security focus
India on Thursday (local time) wrapped up its December Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with a special focus on terrorism, Global South and maritime security.
Addressing the last scheduled meeting of UNSC of the year and India's term at the council, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj said, "We did not hesitate to raise our voice against the common enemy of humanity, such as terrorism", in the wrap-up session as India is set to exit UNSC after a 2-year term. Speaking on the need for reforms at the UNSC, she said, "We were acutely aware of the fact that reform of the Security Council is the need of the hour. This conviction has only been strengthened after our tenure. As we exit the Council, this tenure, we remain convinced that the more there is resistance to change, the more the danger that the decisions of this body stand the risk of losing relevance and credibility."
India's UNSC non-permanent membership comes to a close on December 31. Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway diplomats to the UN also addressed the wrap-up session as they, too, would exit the UNSC after 2-year term.
"On behalf of the Council, I would also like to express the sincere appreciation of the Council to the five outgoing members, namely, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway. I commend their hard work and contributions during their terms on the Security Council," she said.
On India's aim at the UNSC, she said that when New Delhi entered the Council two years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, in September 2020, that India will use the prestige and experience of being the largest democracy in the world for the benefit of the whole world.
"During the last two years, we spoke out in support of peace, security and prosperity. We did not hesitate in raising our voices against the common enemies of humanity, such as terrorism. We were conscious that when we spoke in the Security Council, we were speaking on behalf of 1.4 billion Indians or one 6th of humanity. But we are also conscious of the fact that we were also the voice of the Global South during our tenure," said Kamboj.
Highlighting issues of particular importance to the developing world, she said India reiterated and reinforced its commitment to the basic principles of multilateralism, rule of law and a fair and equitable international system.
"There were instances when we had to stand alone, but the alternative in those instances was to let go of the principles we genuinely believe in, where we had genuine differences, including with our partners who are present on stage today with me. The role of the Security Council in dealing with climate change. For one, our opposition was based on principles. We also tried to bring in focus issues which we believe are highly important, but which had received adequate attention from the Security Council," said the Indian envoy.
On maritime security and challenges posed by piracy, she said, "Maritime security was the best example where, until not too long ago, the Security Council was focused only on the issue of piracy, whereas maritime security encompasses far larger issues as well as a large troop-contributing country."
She also raised the issue of Resolution 2589 -- member states that are currently hosting or have previously hosted United Nations peacekeeping operations were urged to take all necessary steps to prosecute those responsible for killing UN employees and other acts of violence against them, including, but not limited to, their detention and kidnapping.
"We also brought attention to the peacekeeping angle and piloted Resolution 2589, which calls for accountability in cases of crimes against peacekeepers," she added.