India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti speaks to WION, says "India will be a part of the post-COVID global transformation" Photograph:( WION )
India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said, New Delhi will help "bridge the global fault lines" as a non-permanent member of UNSC
India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti has said New Delhi will be part of "post-COVID global transformation" as it takes the chair at United Nations Security Council for the coming year. Speaking exclusively to our Principal Diplomatic Correspondent, Sidhant Sibal from New York City, India's Permanent Representative of the United Nations TS Tirumurti said, New Delhi will help "bridge the global fault lines" as a non-permanent member of UNSC. India is standing unopposed for the Asia Pacific seat of UNSC and will be an elected member at the high table for a period of 2 years starting 1st January 2021.As the founding member of the world body, India has already served 7 times as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The elections for the UNSC's 5 non-permanent seats took place on Wednesday in New York.
WION: India is assured of a seat at the UNSC, what will be the key focus?
TS Tirumurti: We have received tremendous support cutting across countries and regions for our candidature. However, we have still used the run-up to the elections in a very focused and purposeful manner by reaching out to all the member states of the united nations and sensitizing them on our priorities. Minister of external affairs Dr S Jaishankar launched set of priorities in our stint at the security council. We have been able to engage the member states and there has been a greater appreciation of what India plans to bring to the United Nations. The 5 priorities which we have set for ourself in the rubric of N.O.R.M.S New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System and priorities include new opportunities for progress, effective response to international terrorism, reformed multilateral system, comprehensive approach to international peace and security and technology with a human touch. These are the 5 priorities and this will be the focus for us in the security council.
WION: How will India make sure the global fault lines are reduced? We have seen increased tensions in the world.
TS Tirumurti: Interestingly, India has always worked to bridge the faultlines. In fact, right since our participation at the united nations as a founding member, we have taken up several difficult issues at the UN and we have been able to bring them as part of the international discourse and resolve them. I agree that the world has probably changed over the years and particularly it is not the same as it was in 2011 when we were last in the United Nations security council. Multilateralism has been weakened and faultlines might have widened but I am confident with our very strong reform agenda, eg reformed multilateralism agenda which we have and our tradition and our ability to work with a diverse set of partners I am confident we can actually make a difference in bridging these faultlines.
WION: How hopeful is New Delhi of whether UNSC, which represents a 70 year old model, is relevant in this century amidst emergence of countries like India. We saw complete inaction to even issue even a statement on COVID-19 by UNSC?
TS Tirumurti: UN Security council definitely needs to undergo reforms, no question about that. Under the UN Charter, the UN security council still has the primary responsibility for international peace and cooperation. India's priority is reform of the united nations security council and we do want to reform it to make it more representative, make it more inclusive and make sure it addresses the current realities and we will work towards that. But our presence at the UNSC right now is also coming at a crucial juncture because India will have an opportunity in COVID and post COVID phase to contribute to transforming the post COVID phase and be a participant in the global transformation which will inevitably take place. But we should also be conscious of the fact that not every issue is an issue for peace and security.
WION: How does UN plan to celebrate Yoga Day this year?
TS Tirumurti: Prime Minister has provided the leadership and it will continue to be an India lead initiative this year also, I can assure you that. However, 2020 is a very unique year with social distancing in place, it will be difficult to do yoga day within the premises of the UN or even on the lawn of the UN. However, what we plan to do in the mission, is that we plan to do it in a virtual mode this year because the international yoga day attracts probably the largest gathering of the UN and we want to continue the tradition. This time we are doing on the 19th of January at around 3 pm and the event will be telecasted live on UN Web TV and it will be on all our social platforms, twitter, youtube and other and this year we have gifted to all the permanent missions very inciteful book on yoga. So I am confident that international yoga day, will be celebrated with a great deal of gusto, and will be well received by the member states and yoga practitioners.