By Krishnan Nayar
NEW DELHI, 18th June, 2020 (WAM) — India will work for “reformed multilateralism, a must for the post-COVID19 era” following its election today as one of the United Nations Security Council’s non-permanent members, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, MEA.
“A rapidly shifting global security landscape, persistence of traditional security challenges and emergence of new and complicated challenges, all demand a coherent, pragmatic, nimble and effective platform for collaboration to ensure sustainable peace,” says a document listing India’s priorities as an incoming member of the UN Security Council, released by External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
“Such a role must be more effectively undertaken by the Security Council, in the post-COVID19 context,” and this will be among India’s top priority as a new Council member. “India calls for greater involvement of women and youth to shape a new paradigm,” according to the MEA document.
India won 184 out of 192 votes cast in the UN General Assembly, which elects five of its 10 non-permanent members every year for a two-year term. India secured more than the mandatory two-thirds majority of votes for one of two seats reserved for the Africa-Asia-Pacific region, which includes the Gulf and the broader Arab world.
Voting for the second Africa-Asia-Pacific seat was inconclusive because neither Kenya nor Djibouti, which were in the race secured the required two-thirds majority of members present and voting today. A second round of balloting will take place on Friday for this seat.
India will replace Indonesia in the Security Council on January 1 and join Tunisia which is now the only Arab country in the Council. Tunisia’s term will run till end of 2021.
In today’s voting, Mexico was the only country which won more votes than India in the General Assembly. Mexico got 187 votes for a seat reserved for Latin America. Ireland and Norway were also elected as non-permanent members from the West European and Others Group, WEOG.
India’s campaign for the non-permanent seat was spearheaded by its Permanent Representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti, who until recently handled the Gulf and the Arab world at the MEA. An Arabic speaker, Tirumurti earlier served as India’s first Representative to the Palestinian Authority.