New Delhi: Terrorism continues to remain a priority for the international community even as the world’s focus has now shifted to the Russia-Ukraine War and other geopolitical developments, New Delhi has been able to bring it to the fore, India’s Ambassador to the UN Ruchira Kamboj said Tuesday.
“While terrorism is very prevalent in South Asia, in our part of the world undeniably and it is an existential issue for us and we feel the pain and as Indians during our tenure in the Security Council to bring this issue to the fore,” Kamboj said at a webinar organised by The Ananta Centre on India’s UNSC Presidency: New Approach for Reformed Multilateralism and Counter-Terrorism.
She said India was able to bring the UN’s attention to the threats of terrorism as it chaired the Counterterrorism Committee of the UN in 2022.
“Terrorism in all its manifestations must be condemned. There cannot be an exception or justification for any act of terrorism regardless of its motivation and of course wherever, whenever and by whomsoever is committed,” Kamboj said.
The envoy reiterated that terrorism cannot be classified and that the UN must collectively condemn all forms of terrorism.
“The era of classifying terrorism as bad, not so bad or good, based on political convenience must end immediately … The menace of terrorism cannot be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group,” she said.
She also said the threat of terrorism goes beyond South Asia and terrorist outfits like the Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) among others.
Change In The UN System
According to Kamboj, the Russia-Ukraine war and before that the pandemic has shown the need for a reform at the UNSC by way of its expansion.
“Things are not quite perfect… The conflict in Ukraine, the pandemic prior to that has demonstrated that a change is very much needed (in the global multilateral system). It cannot be business as usual, which is why our case for a reformed multilateralism chimes,” the envoy said.
She said many countries at the UN have expressed the need for a change in the multilateral order and that decision-making has become “very difficult” at the UN Security Council. “Speaking with one voice becomes very difficult because of polarisation.”
She added that the US also supports an expansion of the UNSC in terms of having more permanent members.
“We will leave no stone unturned to bring and breathe new life into this process … People are itching for change. It is that change is not happening the way it should happen,” she underscored.
Kamboj said, “I will not state the obvious that the UN as it is presently configured is an anachronism. I will state the obvious that the world of 1945 is vastly different from the world of today when the number of member states at the UN has more than trebled from the earlier 51 of 1945.”
According to Kamboj, the Ukraine war has forced countries to rethink the existing multilateral order at the UN.
“There is a widely felt sentiment on the ground that there cannot be business as usual anymore and that now is as good a moment as any for this issue (UNSC expansion) to be revisited and revisited seriously,” she added.