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S Jaishankar took a tacit swipe at Pakistan and China while addressing the UN Security Council

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday took a tacit swipe at Pakistan and China while addressing the UN Security Council on reforming multilateral platforms, saying the bodies were being “misused to justify and protect perpetrators” of terrorist acts. Jaishankar is in New York to chair two high-level events on reformed multilateralism and counter-terrorism during India’s rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in December.

Although Jaishankar did not name any countries, there was no doubt to whom his remarks were directed. “When it comes to the issue of terrorism, even as the world faces a more collective response, multilateral platforms are being misused to justify and protect the perpetrators,” he said. In the UN Security Council this year, China blocked joint moves by India and the United States to sanction five Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists through so-called technical detention”.

While Jaishankar emphasized the need for reforms of multilateral bodies, he also referred to the failure of developed countries to meet their climate change commitments. “When it comes to climate action and climate justice, the state of affairs is no better. Instead of addressing the relevant issues in the relevant forum, we have witnessed attempts at distraction and distraction,” he said.

Security Council has been on the agenda

He said the open ministerial debate on ‘A New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism [NORMS]’ is an opportunity for a “frank conversation” about the effectiveness of the multilateral institutions created more than 75 years ago. Although the issue of equitable representation and increasing the number of members in the Security Council has been on the agenda of the UN General Assembly for more than three decades, little has changed on the ground, he added.

The call for change was spurred by increasing pressure on the international system, he said, pointing to the “knock-on effects of conflict situations”. In an apparent reference to the Ukraine war, he said concerns about food, fertilizer and fuel security “have not been adequately voiced in the highest decision-making councils”. Latin American, African and Asian countries and small island developing states should have “credible and permanent representation” in the UN Security Council, whose working methods and processes should be “more accountable, objective and transparent”, Jaishankar said.

Criticizing the Intergovernmental Negotiating Framework (IGN) for UN reform for having no time frame and conducting negotiations without any text, Jaishankar said: “Three decades since the creation of the Open Working Group on UN Security Council Reform, we have nothing to show, precisely from these reasons.” On Thursday, Jaishankar will chair a high-level briefing on ‘Global Approach to Counter-Terrorism – Challenges and Way Forward’.

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