As India assumes Presidency of UNSC, Jaishankar talks of international law

Freedom of navigation in South China Sea likely to receive bulk of Indian attention

Published - August 01, 2021 10:05 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India's Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar

India's Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar

India will always be a supporter of international law, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar laying out the policy perspective that the Indian team at the U.N. will pursue during the Security Council Presidency in August. The Minister’s comment came as India took charge on Sunday in the backdrop of intensifying conflicts in Afghanistan and Myanmar.

“As we take over UNSC Presidency for August, look forward to working productively with other members. India will always be a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue and a proponent of international law,” said Mr. Jaishankar in a social media message.

Maritime security

The comment indicates that maritime security which is of significance in dealing with freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is likely to receive bulk of Indian attention . However, four major Asian conflicts are raging and diplomatic analysts say India should focus on resolving the conflicts in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Yemen and find a lasting solution to the troubles in Syria.

On Sunday, The Hindu reported that India will on August 9 organise a virtual Open Debate for heads of state and government titled “Maintenance of international pace and security: Enhancing maritime security — A case for international cooperation.” It was also reported that meetings related to the Asian conflicts could be convened during August.

Also read: India set to begin its two-year tenure as non-permanent member of UNSC

India’s past role in using the UNSC as a tool for conflict resolution was highlighted by Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri who served as the Permanent Representative of India at the Security Council in 2011.

‘Use of force’

“Ten years ago this day, India had last assumed presidency of the UNSC. I was privileged to preside over the horseshoe. We specifically cautioned against the ‘use of force’ in Libya and failure to act in Syria. Results are staring us in the face and continue to haunt the UNSC,” said Mr. Puri in a social media post on Sunday.

The developments in Afghanistan and Myanmar especially are of immediate importance to India and the broader Asian region. India is an elected non-permanent member of the Security Council and had received support of the Asia-Pacific countries during the election. It is therefore hoped that the immediate issues of unfolding conflicts in the nearby areas will find greater attention during August.

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