India calls for people-centric approach to Ukraine, says UNSC ineffective
In a discussion on Ukraine at the UN Security Council, Sanjay Verma, secretary (West) in the ministry of external affairs, reiterated the Indian line that dialogues were “the only answer”
India has said that there is no solution to the Ukraine conflict “at the cost of human lives” and that a “people-centric” approach, diplomacy, and dialogue are the only way out, and the consequences of the conflict on the global south have been devastating.
It reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s position that this is not an era of war and that India respects principles of the UN charter, territorial integrity, and sovereignty, and asked how the UN Security Council has been “rendered completely ineffective” to call for reformed multilateralism.
In a discussion on Ukraine at the UN Security Council on Thursday, representing India, Sanjay Verma, secretary (West) in the ministry of external affairs also asked two questions — was the world closer to a solution, and if it was not, what did it say about the UN?
Verma began by saying that India continued to be concerned about the situation in Ukraine. “We have always advocated that no solution can ever be arrived at the cost of human lives. Escalation of hostilities and violence is in no one’s interest. We have urged that all efforts be made for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an urgent return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy.”
He added that the global order “that we all subscribe to” was based on international law, principles of the UN Charter, and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all States. “These principles must be upheld, without exception.”
Verma reiterated the Indian line that dialogues were “the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment”. “The path to peace requires us to keep all channels of diplomacy open,” he said.
India then noted, “with regret”, that the “collateral consequences” of the conflict had led to “rising prices of food, fuel and fertilizers, affecting the world at large and particularly the member states of the Global South, who have been left to fend for themselves”.
India said that it was crucial that their voices were heard, which was why at G20, the Indian presidency had ensured that some of these “economic pitfalls faced by developing countries” were brought to the forefront of the G20 Agenda, and through a “consensus-based approach”, a roadmap was agreed upon, which also provided “solutions for countries facing debt distress”.
Verma then said that India’s approach to the Ukraine conflict will continue to be “people centric”. “We are providing both humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and economic support to some of our neighbours in the Global South facing economic distress.”
Saying that it was important to avoid steps that endangered the possibility of dialogue and negotiations, India said it was important to ask two questions.
“One, are we anywhere near a possible solution acceptable? And if not, why is it that the UN system, and particularly its principal organ, this very UN Security Council, mandated to primarily maintain international peace and security, rendered completely ineffective to the resolution of the ongoing conflict?”
India said that for multilateralism to be effective, “outdated and archaic structures” needed reform and reinventing, or their credibility would wane. “And unless we fix that systemic flaw, we will continue to be found wanting.”
Verma concluded India’s national position by saying that it continued to advocate Modi’s view that “this is not an era of war”. “On the contrary, it is a time for development and cooperation. It is indeed vital that we continue to believe in the promise of diplomacy and that eventually, it is always dialogue and diplomacy, that delivers.”
Verma concluded India’s national position by saying that it continued to advocate Modi view that “this is not an era of war”. “On the contrary, it is a time for development and cooperation. It is indeed vital that we continue to believe in the promise of diplomacy and that eventually, it is always dialogue and diplomacy, that delivers.”