UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged India to play a major role in ensuring nuclear disarmament in South Asia, bringing back peace and stability in Afghanistan and combating key global challenges like terrorism, climate change and poverty.
Ban said India must shoulder the responsibility to help South Asia stop developing nuclear arsenals and urged it to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which provides for banning all nuclear tests.
In an address to a select group of diplomats and foreign affairs experts at the Indian Council of World Affairs, the UN Secretary General identified terrorism as major global challenge and said the terror attack in Paris was a strike at the heart of freedom.
Earlier, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj held a wide-ranging discussion with Ban on a number of issues including the growing global concern over terrorism, the UN Peacekeeping Mission and UN reforms, among others. India has been seeking reform of the UN Security Council to reflect realities of the modern world and stressed on the need for a decision-making mandate in the evolving UN doctrine on peacekeeping. India has been one of the largest contributors to the UN Peacekeeping missions.
In his lecture on ‘India and the United Nations in a Changing World’, Ban also mentioned the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and the recent attack on school children in Peshawar and said that a secure regional environment and stability in South Asia will help India reach its “ambitions and goals”.
“As the world’s largest democracy, India has an important role. Political leaders must put aside long-standing grievances and resolve old disputes. Specially in case of India and Pakistan. Continued instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only the responsibility of those nations,” he said.