In an exclusive interview, Siddhant Sibbal, Indian Envoy to United Nations TS
Tirumurti talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UNGA speech and India’s
determination to bring reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“And this a very clear message of India’s support to the United Nations, and
to multilateralism,” the envoy said.
PM Modi talked about “representing mother of democracy,” Tirumurti said. He
also used his personal experience to showcase that “democracy can deliver and
it has delivered. He has talked about his vision for governance which is to
leave no one behind,” Tirumurti added.
In his UNGA speech, PM Modi emphasised that India — which represents one-sixth
of humanity — has showcased immense developmental growth and that “will be the
developmental journey for the rest of the country. If India grows, world grows
and when India reforms, world transforms,” the diplomat explained.
Tirumurti also touched upon PM Modi’s announcement about India resuming its
vaccine export programme in a bid to help the other countries around the
world. Highlighting that India has vowed to be present for global good as a
provider and contributor, Tirumurti said that PM Modi’s announcement was
widely appreciated with a huge round of applause and “several leaders thanked
India in their statements for standing by them with our vaccine contribution”.
He also highlighted that India is probably the only country in the G20 group
which is on its course to achieve the Paris climate accord target.
PM Modi also underlined India’s continued commitment to combat climate change.
“On the question of maritime security, he talked about oceans and the need to
protect the resources of the ocean. I think why it is important is that we
have just had on August 9, during our presidency of the Security Council, an
event on maritime security. It was a high-level event, in which the PM himself
was present. We had a presidential statement issued, which was probably first
presidential statement issued on the holistic concept of maritime security, so
in many ways it was extremely significant and therefore he underlined that,
that it is an important concept and needs to be taken forward.”
The envoy also revisited PM Modi’s comments on terrorism. “Terrorism has been
a very important aspect which we have consistently underlined both in Security
Council and outside. India took an active part in the global counter terrorism
strategy and it was adopted 2 months ago, and many of the concerns we have and
many of the vision which we had on combatting terrorism, was reflected in the
document,” he said.
The envoy also talked about India not having a permanent seat at the UNSC.
This time, after PM Modi met the US President Joe Biden, the US reiterated its
support for India getting a permanent seat at the UNSC.
“President Biden also reiterated US support for India’s permanent membership
on a reformed UN Security Council and for other countries who are important
champions of multilateral cooperation and aspire to permanent seats on the UN
Security Council,” a joint statement from the two countries read.
“Security Council is extremely important organ of the UN but unfortunately it
is frozen in time. Over the last 75 years there has been no change,” the envoy
said. “The world has changed, but UNSC has not changed.”
He also said that the UNSC is becoming less credible as “when you are not
representative of the change, you become less credible. So that is the real
problem of the Security Council, it is becoming less and less credible to
address the problems of the world”. India has called for reforms through the
Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) but the discussions have not reached any
conclusion as of now, he said. “We are hoping in the 76th session we will get
enough steam to make sure we give enough direction to this reform and we take
it forward,” Tirumurti said.
Talking about India adopting a tradition of giving young officers a right of
reply, he said, “We would like these young officers to go on to the big stage
and deliver a powerful message and gain confidence. This is our way of telling
them, you go ahead, and perform and you should be noticed. It is important
that they gain confidence from this as young diplomats. That is really why we
encourage them to do that.”
He also said that when some global leaders “misuse multilateral platform, they
talk a very false and a very abusive narrative against India, and then having
a young diplomat going and calling them out is also in my opinion very
symbolic message to send.”
The envoy defined India as one of the largest contributors of peacekeeping and