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Talks between warring groups should be facilitated: India

Terming protection of civilians a "national responsibility", India on Thursday said that the international community should facilitate talks between warring groups in a conflict situation instead of complicating matters by "threats of sanctions and regime change."

world Updated: Nov 10, 2011 10:12 IST

Terming protection of civilians a "national responsibility", India on Thursday said that the international community should facilitate talks between warring groups in a conflict situation instead of complicating matters by "threats of sanctions and regime change."

Indian Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri, in his statement on 'protection of civilians' at the UN Security Council on Thursday, said several UN member nations are "all too willing" to expend considerable resources for regime change in the name of protection of civilians.

However, any international decision to intervene in a country in conflict should be based on protecting civilians and not be distracted by political motives.

"The actions of the Council and international community should facilitate an engagement between warring factions in a conflict situation in a nationally owned and inclusive political process and not complicate the situation by threats of sanctions, regime change," Puri said.

Noting that civilians are the ones who suffer the most in war, Puri said it has been India's consistent view that protection of its population is the first and foremost responsibility of each State.

He stressed that force is not the only way of protecting civilians but instead should be the measure of last resort and be used only when all diplomatic and political efforts fail.

On its part, the Security Council must "make up its mind" on what it means by protection of civilians and have clarity about who is to be protected and what constitutes a threat.

The Council "must be able to differentiate between threats that require a military response or a 'Rule of Law' response. It should not ask force commanders or their soldiers to assume policing responsibilities," Puri added.