Paris [France]: Making a strong pitch for India’s permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the primary UN body cannot claim to be speaking for the world when its most populous country and the largest democracy is not a permanent member.
He made the remark during an interview with French newspaper ‘Les Echos’ ahead of his two-day official visit to France that begins later on Thursday.
On whether the credibility of UN was at stake, with India still not finding permanent membership of the UNSC, Prime Minister Modi said the UN was one of many global institutions that were founded in the wake of the Second World War, and it has to be seen whether they are representative of today’s world, which has transformed a lot in the last eight decades.
Further, speaking to Les Echos, PM Modi said, “The issue is not just of credibility, but something much larger. I believe that the world needs to have an honest discussion about the multilateral governance structures that were built in the aftermath of second World War.”
He added that nearly eight decades after the institutions were created, the world has transformed, the number of member-countries have grown four-fold and the character of the global economy has also changed.
“We live in an era of new technology. New powers have risen causing a relative shift in global balance. We face new challenges, including climate change, cyber security, terrorism, space security, pandemics. I could go on about the changes. In this changed world, many questions arise – are these representative of today’s world? Are they able to discharge the roles for which they were set up? Do countries around the world feel that these organizations matter, or are relevant?” PM Modi said.
He said, “How can the UN Security Council claim to be speaking for the world, when its most populous country and largest democracy is not a permanent member?”
“The UN Security Council, in particular, epitomises this dissonance. How can we talk of it as a primary organ of a global body, when entire continents of Africa and Latin America are ignored? How can it claim to speak for the world when its most populous country, and its largest democracy, is not a permanent member? And its skewed member-ship leads to opaque decision making processes, which adds to its helplessness in ad-dressing the challenges of today,” he added.
Appreciating the position of France in the matter, Prime Minister Modi said the voices of all countries must be heard with respect to proposed changes to the UN Security Council.
“I think most countries are clear on what changes they would like to see in the UN Security Council, including on the role India should play. We just need to listen to their voice and heed their advice. I must appreciate the clear and consistent position that France has taken in this matter,” he added.