India on Thursday – in one of its strongest remarks – expressed “profound concern” over the Ukraine conflict and once again called for an “immediate cessation of all hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy”.
Speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark made at the recent SCO Summit where he emphasised that this “cannot be an era of war”.
“The trajectory of the Ukraine conflict is a matter of profound concern for the entire international community. The outlook appears truly disturbing. In a globalised world, its impact is being felt even in distant regions,” Jaishankar said at the UNSC briefing. “We have all experienced its consequences in terms of surging costs and actual shortages of food grains, fertilizers and fuel.” On this core too, there are good grounds to be worried about what awaits us,” he added.
“India strongly reiterates the need for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy. Clearly, as PM Modi has emphasised that this cannot be an era of war,” he told the 15-nation UNSC briefing on ‘Ukraine Fight against impunity’.
The briefing was chaired by French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna. World leaders had gathered at the UN headquarters for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
Besides Jaishankar, the UNSC briefing was also addressed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly and Foreign Ministers of other UNSC members.
India has been maintaining that the Ukraine crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. On Wednesday, Jaishankar met Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the UN headquarters and apprised him of India’s principled position that stresses on an end to all hostilities and a return to dialogue and diplomacy.
‘Politics should never provide cover to evade accountability’
Raking up the issue of sanctioning terrorists, India reacted sharply at the UNSC, saying that impunity is being facilitated and politics providing cover to evade accountability — taking a veiled potshot at China, which has repeatedly blocked blacklisting of Pakistan-based terrorists.
“The fight against impunity is critical to the larger pursuit of securing peace and justice. The Security Council must send an unambiguous and unequivocal message on this count,” the foreign minister said.
With China listening, Jaishankar said, “Politics should never ever provide cover to evade accountability. Nor indeed to facilitate impunity. Regrettably, we have seen this of late in this very Chamber, when it comes to sanctioning of some of the world’s most dreaded terrorists.” “If egregious attacks committed in broad daylight are left unpunished, this Council must reflect on the signals we are sending on impunity. There must be consistency if we are to ensure credibility,” he added.
On many occasions in the past, Pakistan’s all-weather friend China has blocked and put on hold several attempts by India, the US and other western allies to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists.
This month, China has put on hold a proposal moved at the United Nations by the US and co-supported by India to designate Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Sajid Mir, who is wanted for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, as a global terrorist.
(With PTI inputs)