Countries should respect sovereignty and territorial integrity: PM Modi at G-7 meet

A day after meeting President Zelenksy, PM Modi urges all sides to respect UN Charter, ‘protest’ against attempts to change the status quo

Updated - May 22, 2023 08:47 am IST

Published - May 21, 2023 10:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with other leaders visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in Hiroshima on May 21.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with other leaders visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in Hiroshima on May 21. | Photo Credit: ANI

Unrest in any part of the world affects all countries of the global community, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday at the G-7 meeting in Hiroshima. Speaking at the ‘Working Session 9’ of the G-7 summit, Mr. Modi reiterated India’s commitment to do “everything” to bring an end to the war in Ukraine and said all countries should “respect” sovereignty and territorial integrity of the member states of the United Nations.

“It is necessary that all sides should respect the UN Charter, and international law and nation-states should respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Everyone should raise their voice against one-sided attempts to change the status quo. India has always felt that all tension and disputes should be resolved in a peaceful manner, through dialogue. If a solution is reached through dialogue then that should be respected,” said PM Modi in his remarks shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presented at the G-7 summit. It is significant that PM Modi spoke about the territorial integrity of “all countries” a day after he met President Zelensky.

Speaking ahead of Mr. Modi, the Ukrainian President focused on the ongoing military activities in his country and stressed upon the G-7 members and partner countries to support Ukraine in the fight against Russia. Indicating at his discussion with Mr. Modi and other neutral countries, Mr. Zelensky said that Kyiv is trying to convince “certain leaders” about the position of Ukraine in the war with Russia. Mr. Modi in his remarks said, “Today we heard President Zelensky. I met him yesterday. I do not consider the current situation (in Ukraine) a political or economic issue. I think it is a pressing humanitarian matter and a matter concerning human values. We have maintained from the beginning that dialogue and diplomacy are the only way out of this and India will do everything that is required to resolve the current conflict.”

“Global peace, stability and prosperity are part of the common goals of us all. In today’s inter-connected world, unrest in any region affects every country and developing economies that have limited resources are easily affected by such events. The developing countries are paying a heavy price because of the food, fuel and fertiliser crises that were triggered by the current global situation,” said Mr. Modi. The Indian leader raised the issues relevant to the Global South in the speech which was his most detailed statement at the G-7 where on Saturday he met several world leaders including Mr. Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron and others.

The meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Zelensky held on Saturday was the first face-to-face discussion that the two had since their last meeting on November 2, 2021 on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. A major part of Mr. Zelensky’s visit to Hiroshima focused on securing support from countries like India and Brazil that have maintained a neutral position in the war while deepening economic ties with Russia during the last one and half years. Significantly, a meeting between Mr. Zelensky and Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva was cancelled reportedly because of “scheduling” issues.

Mr. Modi on Sunday met with Brazil’s President Lula Da Silva in which both leaders emphasised the need for reform of the United Nations. Earlier in his speech at the summit, Mr. Modi spoke forcefully about the requirement of reform at the UN Security Council and declared, “We should ask - why are we going to different platforms to talk about peace and stability? Why is the UN that was created to stop conflicts not successful in controlling these events? Why is there no binding language of terrorism in the UN? If we introspect, then we can know that the institutions that were created in the past century are unable to meet the challenges of the 21st century”. He quoted the Buddha and said, “Hostility cannot be resolved by hostility.”

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