United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that countries with “regressive thinking” that are using terrorism as a “political tool” must understand that it is an “equally big threat” for them also, in a veiled attack on Pakistan which is accused by its neighbours of providing safe havens to terrorists.
Washington : US President Joe Biden has reiterated America’s support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed United Nations Security Council and its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group during his first in-person bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House. President Biden, in his talks with Prime Minister Modi, applauded India’s strong leadership during its UN Security Council Presidency in August 2021, according to the US-India Joint Leaders’ Statement issued after their meeting in the White House on Friday.In this context, 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, it said.President Biden’s support provides a big boost to New Delhi’s push for the reform of the powerful UN organ as India has been at the forefront of efforts at the United Nations to push for an urgent long-pending reform of the Security Council, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.India in June asserted that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on UN Security Council reforms can no longer be used as a smokescreen, as the General Assembly decided to roll over the IGN work to the next UNGA session and agreed to include an amendment proposed by the G4 nations of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.At present, the UNSC comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the United Nations.The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution. There has been growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality.During his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, President Biden also reaffirmed US support for India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the joint statement said.The NSG is a 48-member grouping which regulates global nuclear commerce.Ever since India applied for the membership of the NSG in May 2016, China has been insisting that only those countries which have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should be allowed to enter the organisation.India and Pakistan are not signatories of the NPT. After India’s application, Pakistan too has applied for the NSG membership in 2016.China maintains that there would be no discussion on India’s entry into the NSG before reaching a specific plan on non-NPT members’ participation in the elite grouping, as it declined to give a timeline to reach a consensus among member states on this issue.President Biden’s support to India’s permanent seat in the UNSC assumes significance as last month, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference that the US values “working with India at the United Nations, including in the context this month of the Security Council.”Responding to a question on whether the Biden administration thinks that India should be a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Price said that the US supports building a consensus for a “modest” expansion of the Council for both permanent and non-permanent members, provided it does not diminish its effectiveness or its efficacy and does not alter or expand the veto.“We believe that a reformed Security Council that is representative, that is effective, and that is relevant is in the best interest of the United States and all of the UN member states,” Price had said.In their talks on Friday, Prime Minister Modi and President Biden also welcomed the extension of the Statement of Guiding Principles on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development to leverage the combined capacities of India and the US to address global development challenges around the world, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and Africa, the statement said.They renewed their close relationship and charted a new course to advance the partnership between the world’s largest democracies They also affirmed a clear vision that will guide the US-India relationship forward, the statement added.
Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly session here, Prime Minister Modi also called for ensuring that no country “tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests.”“Today, the world is facing an increased threat of regressive thinking and extremism. In such a situation, the entire world must make science-based, rational and progressive thinking the basis for development. In order to strengthen a science-based approach, India is promoting experience-based learning, he told the UNGA meeting.“On the other hand, countries with regressive thinking that are using terrorism as a political tool must understand that terrorism is an equally big threat for them, Modi said in an apparent reference to Pakistan.Pakistan’s neighbours, including Afghanistan’s previous government and India, and the US have long accused Islamabad of providing safe haven and support to militants.Modi said it is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan territory is not used to spread, terrorism, and for terrorist attacks.“We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests, he said.Pakistan, specially its intelligence agencies, has close ties with the Afghan Taliban, including its dreaded faction the Haqqani Network, which has seized control of Kabul last month.The Haqqani Network, believed to be behind a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan, was accused of bombing the Indian mission in Kabul in 2008 in one of the deadliest attacks in the Afghan capital that killed 58 people.Four top leaders of the Haqqani Network are holding key positions in the interim Taliban government which includes at least 14 Cabinet members blacklisted by the UN. Under India’s Presidency last month, the UN Security Council adopted a strong resolution reiterating the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban’s relevant commitments.At the time, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said that the resolution underlines terrorist individuals and entities designated by UN Security Council (resolution) 1267. This is of direct importance to India.”“Needless to say the adoption of the resolution is a strong signal from the Security Council and the international community on its expectations in respect of Afghanistan,” he had said. In his speech, Prime Minister Modi said that the world must fulfil its duty by providing help to the people in war-torn Afghanistan where women, children and minorities are in need. “At this time, the people of Afghanistan, the women and children of Afghanistan, and the minorities of Afghanistan need help. And we must fulfill our duty by providing them with this help, Modi said.Last month, India had warned that a “grave” humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the war-torn country and everyone is concerned about the increasing violations of fundamental rights of the Afghan people.
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