External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar has said, the days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over. Delivering National Statement at the General Debate of the 78th session of United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, in New York, Dr. Jaishankar stressed that respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs of a country cannot be exercised in cherry picking adding that finding common ground is imperative. The Minister said, we must never again allow an injustice like vaccine apartheid to recur. He said, Climate action too cannot continue to witness an evasion of historical responsibilities. He added that the power of markets should not be utilized to steer food and energy from the needy to the wealthy. Dr Jaishankar further added that nor must we approve the political convenience determining the responses to terrorism, extremism and violence. He said, the world should have the courage to call out when reality departs from rhetoric.
The Minister said that it was with a sense of exceptional responsibility that India took up the Presidency of the G20. He highlighted that India’s vision of One Earth One Family One Future sought to focus on the key concerns of the many and not just the narrow interest of a few. He said the theme was to bridge divides, dismantle barriers and sow seeds of collaboration.
Dr. Jaishankar said that at a time when East-West polarisation is so sharp and North-South divide so deep, the New Delhi G20 Summit also affirmed that diplomacy and dialogue are the only effective solutions. He said the international order is diverse and world must cater to divergences if not differences. He added that the G20 deliberations produced outcomes that had great significance for the international community.
Dr. Jaishankar said, the United Nations should make Security Council contemporary, and emphasised that broad representation is a prerequisite for both effectiveness and credibility. He said the world is experiencing an exceptional period of turmoil and navigating the future appears daunting. He said structural inequities and uneven development have imposed burdens on the Global South. He added that stresses have been aggravated by the impact of the COVID pandemic and the repercussions of ongoing conflicts, tensions and disputes. He said that as a result, socio-economic gains of recent years have been rolled back, resources for sustainable development are severely challenged and many countries are struggling to make ends meet. The Minister said India seeks to promote cooperation with diverse partners. He said that from the era of non-alignment, India has now evolved to a ‘Vishwa Mitra – a friend to the world’. He said this is reflected in India’s ability and willingness to engage with a broad range of nations and harmonise interests where necessary. He pointed out that it is visible in the rapid growth of the QUAD and is equally apparent in the expansion of the BRICS grouping or emergence of I2U2.