India on Thursday called on the international community to question why the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been rendered "completely ineffective" in coming up with a resolution for the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict that has spanned close to 19 months.
Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), addressed the UNSC open debate on ‘Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter through effective multilateralism: maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine' on Thursday.
Presenting two critical questions for the international community to ponder over, Verma said, "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?"
The Secretary reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's view that "this is not an era of war" and said that escalation of hostilities and violence no one's interest in particular. He also said that "outdated and archaic" structures are in need of reform for multilateralism to be effective, otherwise their credibiility will "always be on the wane".
"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," Verma said. He further asserted that India's approach to the conflict is "people-centric" and that New Delhi is providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and some of its neighbours in the Global South facing economic distress.
"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," said Verma, while urging all channels of diplomacy to remain open and steps to endanger possibility of dialogue and negotiations to be avoided.
India on rising prices of food, fuel and fertilisers
The Secretary expressed regret at the UNSC open debate on the ollateral consequences of the conflict have led to rising prices of food, fuel and fertilizers that have affected the world and the member-states of the Global South in particular.
"From our perspective, it is critical that their voices are heard and their legitimate concerns duly addressed," said Verma. He also mentioned that India under its G20 presidency had highlighted some of these economic issues faced by developing countries in the recently-concluded summit in New Delhi.
Notably, Russia's withdrawal from the UN-Turkey backed Black Sea grain initiative had sparked concerns over a global food crisis, for which attempts have been made to convince Moscow to rejoin the deal. Russia has claimed that its interests have been overlooked in the grain deal.
Meanwhile, Verma also mentioned a consensus based roadmap under India's G20 presidency that came up with solutions to address debt distress in some countries. India had scored a major diplomatic victory by sucessfully adopting a joint declaration by achieving a 100% consensus.
The Russia-Ukraine war
Thousands of people have been killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year. The war seems to have even escalated further as both countries are mounting counteroffensives, a sign that the war is unlikely to end soon.
The war has deepened Russia's tensions with the United States, as the latter continues to provide economic and military support to Kyiv. Recently, Germany became the second country to provide arms to Ukraine.
On the other hand, Russia has entered in a potential arms deal with North Korea in exchange of economic aid and advanced weapons technologies for Pyongyang, sparking global concerns that Kremlin intends to prolong the war. Western countries have said that any deal with the heavily-sanctioned North Korea violates international norms.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the open debate Wednesday held under the Council Presidency of Albania, marking his first in-person address to the 15-nation UN organ.
(with PTI inputs)