India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaks at UNGA. Photograph:(ANI)

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Supporting the UNSC reforms, the foreign minister called for making the Security Council ‘contemporary’ and said rule-makers should not subjugate rule-takers

Amid the India-Canada diplomatic row over the killing of a terrorist, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar slammed some countries’ response to terrorism based on political convenience, in a hard-hitting address at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Tuesday (Sep 26).

Jaishankar gave the statement amid escalating tensions between India and Canada, which is a safe haven for Khalistani extremists even as it accused India of being involved in the killing of the terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Jaishankar also attacked “cherry-picking” by member states when it comes to respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs.

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“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. 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. When reality departs from rhetoric, we must have the courage to call it out,” he said.

‘Namaste from Bharat’

The minister started his speech by greeting the listeners in Indian style ‘namaste’ and using the name ‘Bharat’ instead of India, the traditional name of the country which the government is seeking formalise.

“Namaste from Bharat!…Our fullest support to this UNGA’s theme of rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity. This is an occasion to take stock of our achievements and challenges even while sharing our aspirations and goals. Indeed, in regard to both, there is much that India has to share,” he said.

“The world is witnessing an exception period of turmoil…At this juncture, it was with a sense of exceptional responsibility India took up the presidency of G20. Our vision of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ sought to focus on the key concerns of the many just the narrow interests of the few,” he added.

Jaishankar calls for making Security Council ‘contemporary’

The foreign minister backed the UN Security Council reforms, calling for making it ‘contemporary’.

“It was noteworthy that at India’s initiative, the African Union as a permanent member of the G20. By doing so, 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,” he added.

WATCH | Trudeau: Canada shared intelligence on murder with India weeks ago

‘Still few nations shape agenda, this won’t go unchallenged’

Jaishankar pointed out how some nations have been shaping agendas and defining norms and added that it is important that ‘rule-makers do not subjugate rule-takers’.

“It is still a few nations who shape the agenda and seek to define the norms. This can’t go on indefinitely nor will it go unchallenged. A fair, equitable and democratic order will surely emerge once we all put our minds to it. And for a start, that means ensuring that rule-makers do not subjugate rule-takers,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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