India narrowing differences in UN Security Council: Ambassador Tirumurti

New York: India has “been a bridge” in a polarised UN Security Council, narrowing differences and helping shape the Council’s statements, discussions on Afghanistan and Myanmar, pushing for greater meeting of minds to address humanitarian crisis in Syria and focusing on terrorism, India’s envoy to the UN said.

With India completing three months as an elected non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council, the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti said India had been able to bring a “unique perspective” to discussions in the Council.

“You can call this an Indian perspective if you like. It has been an intensive period,” Tirumurti told PTI.

He noted that India got into a Security Council which had been polarised sharply in the recent past.

“While such a polarisation is still quite visible, India has certainly been a bridge narrowing down the differences in the Council. We have worked constructively with other members in the Council on all issues. Our voice is deeply respected and our contribution has been acknowledged,” he said.

“There is a greater effort in the Council now with countries like India coming in to have a more collaborative approach to issues.” Tirumurti stressed that “it is more important for the Council to speak in one voice rather than not speak at all.”

Outlining instances where India helped an outcome in the Council, Tirumurti said the country had brought in its own perspective on specific issues. Citing the UNSC Press Statements on Myanmar, a “country with which we have strong links and strong interests”, Tirumurti said India had been able to “bring together differing viewpoints and make these statements more constructive and helpful in furthering the process to resolve the issues”.

Just days after the February 1 military coup in Myanmar in which top political leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, were detained, the Council issued a Press Statement emphasising the need for continued support of the democratic transition in Myanmar and stressed the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, fully respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law.

India, Chair of the Taliban Sanctions Committee, also helped shape the Council’s statement on Afghanistan to “voice our concern on the rising violence and targeted killings and keep the focus on, inter alia, women, minorities and on terrorism and its impact on Afghanistan and the region.

“We have an important stake in Afghanistan and its stability and peace. As Chair of the Taliban Sanctions Committee, our role in contributing to the process will be important,” Tirumurti said. (PTI)

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