External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday made a veiled attack on China and its close ally Pakistan during an open debate at the UN Security Council, saying multilateral steps are being misused to legitimize and protect perpetrators of terrorism.
Presiding over the UN Security Council open debate on ‘Maintenance of International Peace and Security: New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism’, Jaishankar also said the knock-on effects of conflict situations have made a strong case that it cannot be “business as usual” in the multilateral domain.
“On the challenge of terrorism, even as the world is coming together with a more collective response, multilateral platforms are being misused to justify and protect perpetrators,” he said.
He was referring to China, which has blocked bids by India and the US on several occasions to list Pakistan-based terrorists such as Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.
The minister said that when it comes to climate action and climate justice, the state of affairs is no better. “Instead of addressing the relevant issues in the appropriate forum, we have seen attempts at distraction and diversion,” the minister said.
“We have convened here today for an honest conversation about the effectiveness of multilateral institutions, more than 75 years after they were created. The question before us is how best they can be reformed, particularly as the need to reform is less deniable with each passing year,” Jaishankar said.
“On the one hand, they have brought out the inequities and inadequacies of the way the world currently functions. On the other, they have also highlighted that a larger and deeper collaboration is necessary to find solutions,” he said.
“The knock-on effects of conflict situations have also underscored the necessity for a more broad-based global governance. Recent concerns over food, fertilizer, and fuel security were not adequately articulated in the highest councils of decision-making. Much of the world was therefore led to believe that their interests did not matter. We cannot let this happen again,” he said. Jaishankar said that each one of these examples makes a strong case for why it should not be business as usual in the multilateral domain.
“We not only need to increase stake – holder ship but also enhance the effectiveness and credibility of multilateralism in the eyes of the international community and global public opinion. That is the purpose of NORMS,” he said, referring to the topic of New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
Jaishankar arrived here Tuesday to preside over two signature events on counterterrorism and reformed multilateralism being held under India’s current Presidency of the UN Security Council, ahead of the country’s two-year term as an elected member of the powerful 15-nation.