Amsterdam [Netherlands], October 1 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar this week completed his 11-day US visit, during which he articulated both infringements of India's core interests as well as issues of pressing global concern.
Jaishankar addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the theme of 'A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges'. On the margins of the UNGA, the minister had bilateral engagements.
The external affairs minister engaged with leaders from a wide range of countries and groupings. In the end, the minister concluded his US visit in Washington DC following key meetings with the Biden administration to reaffirm the India-US strategic partnership.
In its editorial, an Amsterdam-based think tank said, "Jaishankar's stress on UN reforms, the misuse of terrorist listings for political purposes by the likes of China and Pakistan, and the absurdity of the US quoting terrorist threats to Pakistan while giving hundreds of millions of dollars to it for F16 fighter jet maintenance stood out."
"By the time his visit concluded on 28 September, the Indian EAM came across as more optimistic about the prospect of reforms in the UN. He told journalists at a wrap-up briefing that India believes US President Joe Biden's promise at the 77th session of the UNGA of reforming the UNSC was different from past Washington pledges, even if no one country could make it happen alone," the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) said.
At a media interaction in New York, Jaishankar explained India's concern on this count. "We are trying to get across our message that terrorism is not political. It should not be used as a political tool, its consequences should not be made political. We do believe that in any process if any party is taking a decision, they need to be transparent about it. So the idea that something is blocked without assigning a reason, it sort of challenges common sense," he said.
During a press conference in Washington, Jaishankar said reforming the chronically deadlocked Security Council is not an easy process, however, it can not be denied forever.
Even though the US has encouraged India in favour of Security Council reform in recent weeks, Jaishankar said UNSC reform is a collective effort. "I think it's a collective effort that members of the UN have to make and we have been pressing the reform effort," he said while addressing a press conference in Washington.
Jaishankar said there is a recognition that a limited group of cynics are 'reluctant' to UNSC reform efforts, but India needs to stay focused.
"You also know where the reluctance comes from. Let's stay focused on it. We have never thought that it was an easy process, but we do believe that the need for reform cannot be denied forever," Jaishankar told reporters.
As part of the US push to strengthen the United Nations, US President Joe Biden in a speech at the General Assembly reiterated his commitment to reforming the UNSC. Biden said he believes the time has come for the institution to become more inclusive so that it can better respond to the needs of today's world.
Jaishankar caught on to the point elaborated by Biden and said, "My understanding is that the position that President Biden put forward is the most explicit and specific articulation of the US support for reform of the UN including the Security Council."
"How this advances, where it goes, I think depends on all of us, the members of the UN, and where we take it, it's not the responsibility of a single country, however powerful," he added. (ANI)