Curated By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: September 27, 2023, 13:14 IST
New York, United States of America (USA)
Union minister of external affairs S Jaishankar who is currently in New York for the 78th United Nations General Assembly weighed in on several issues during his speech at the United Nations and also at a separate event hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR).
In his speech as well as in the events he attended later, the foreign minister reflected on India’s vision for the world, relationships with neighbours and allies and Canada’s recent accusations of interference in its internal affairs.
Here are some of the top quotes from his UNGA speech and panel discussion at CFR:
- At the UNGA, S Jaishankar called for reform of the UN Security Council pointing to India’s efforts to make the African Union a part of G20: “ African Union’s inclusion in the G20 was a significant step. We gave voice to an entire continent which has long been its due. This significant step in reform should inspire the United Nations, a much older organisation, to also make the Security Council contemporary,” the foreign minister said.
- The foreign minister also urged multilateral forums to not allow “political convenience” to determine responses to terrorism, extremism and violence. “Nor must we countenance that political convenience determines responses to terrorism, extremism and violence. Similarly, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be exercises in cherry picking,” Jaishankar said.
- “At a time when East-West polarisation is so sharp and North-South divide so deep, the New Delhi Summit also affirms that diplomacy and dialogue are the only effective solutions. The international order is diverse and we must cater for divergences, if not differences. The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over,” Jaishankar said, calling for a new order of the world where all nations have a seat at the table.
- The foreign minister also called for equitable distribution of resources, especially in the healthcare sector and a united approach to tackling climate change. “We must never again allow an injustice like vaccine apartheid to recur. Climate action too cannot continue to witness an evasion of historical responsibilities. The power of markets should not be utilised to steer food and energy from the needy to the wealthy,” he said.
- Speaking on India’s global aspirations, Jaishankar said: “The goal is really a quarter century from now, we should strive to be a developed country. That’s the goal at home. But if you look at the consequences of that, I think in that quarter century, it would be logical that we would also seek to be a global power. If you’re going to have a global interest and a global footprint, then it takes time to prepare for it. You’re not going to turn on a switch and suddenly become global”.
- Reflecting on tensions with China over border issues, the foreign minister said at an event held by the CFR: “It is very hard to try to be normal with a country which has broken agreements and which has done what it has done. So if you look at the last three years, it’s a very abnormal state. Contacts have been disrupted, visits are not taking place. We have of course this high level of military tension. It has also impacted the perception of China in India”.
- Speaking on recent dip in bilateral ties with Canada at CFR, Jaishankar said India has given Canada a large amount of intel on illegal activities going on in their country by anti-India forces. “We told the Canadians that this is not the government of India’s policy. We told the Canadians saying that look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know. We are open to looking at it,” he said.
- “We have actually been badgering the Canadians, we have given them a lot of information about organised crime leadership, which operates out of Canada. There are a large number of extradition requests. There are terrorist leaders who have been identified,” he further added.