77 year old UN needs reforms: External Affairs Minister Jaishankar
Vienna, 2 January (Agency)
Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said that the 77-year-old organization needed to ‘revamp’ the United Nations. He said that pushing for major changes in the United Nations is an important part of New Delhi’s foreign policy. Jaishankar made these comments while addressing members of the Indian community in the Austrian capital Vienna here on Sunday. During this, he said that due to the efforts of former External Affairs Minister late Sushma Swaraj, our relations with the Indian community have been strengthened. When asked about the reforms in the United Nations and India’s role in these, Jaishankar said, ‘The United Nations Organization was established in 1945. I ask people to tell me something which is 77 years old and you do not see any need of improvement in it. People change, institutions must also change. We need change. A large part of the world does not believe that the United Nations raises its voice impartially. India has been at the forefront of efforts for long-pending reforms in the United Nations Security Council. India has been maintaining that it deserves to be a permanent member of the Security Council. Jaishankar said, ‘The problem is that those who hold influential positions clearly do not want to see their influence diminish. So how can we persuade people to change, who are forced to stick to the old system because of their short term benefits, is a real problem.’ The minister said that the emphasis on reforms in the United Nations is an integral part of India’s foreign policy. He said that change will not happen overnight. The Foreign Minister said, ‘We will continue our efforts. This is a very important goal for us and for our foreign policy. It will not happen overnight, but one day it will happen, trust me.
The five permanent members of the Security Council are Russia, Britain, China, France and the US. These countries can veto any original resolution. There is a growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality. Jaishankar appreciated the efforts of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to strengthen ties with the Indian community. Jaishankar has reached Austria from Cyprus on the second leg of his two-nation tour. This is the first visit of an Indian External Affairs Minister to Austria in the last 27 years. Jaishankar’s visit comes at a time when both the countries are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations in 2023.
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