Monday, November 29, 2021

India tears into United Nations: ‘Impaired organ,’ befits a “University debate”

Readers, do join me to be on your feet and applaud TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, for ripping apart the pretensions of the global body for all the nations.

Tirumurti used some harsh words—very harsh words—at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where he claimed the Security Council is an “impaired organ” and the mechanism to improve its functioning—the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN)—is nothing better than a platform which befits a University debate.

Now Tirumurti would evoke some recollections in the mind of tennis afficionados since he is married to Gowri, once a national junior champion who happens to be the daughter of tennis legend Ramanathan Krishnan. Yet his sharp volley in New York bore little resemblance to the touch artiste that his father-in-law was in his playing days.

Without any further padding, Tirumurti must be listened to for his blunt words on a platform where the world had gathered on Monday: 

“Today’s Security Council is an impaired organ. It has been unable to act with credibility essentially due to its unrepresentative nature. But then, what is happening inside the IGN process, which we seem to be wedded to?

“Inside the IGN, nothing has moved for more than a decade except hearing passionate statements on the need for reform. In fact, it has not progressed since it is not only informal but it has no rules of procedure and has no records. For a decade it has remained that way. We are forced to keep our own notes placing a tremendous burden on all small and medium states. The same countries who shed crocodile tears for small and medium states are the same ones denying them even the basic courtesy, which is to help them keep official record of discussions. What happens here has no record and we start again the next year as if nothing has happened. And of course, we don’t even have a single negotiating text.

“IGN has become like a platform for debate in a University rather than a serious resulted-oriented process in the United Nations consisting of sovereign member states.

“And why have we come to this pass? That’s because just a handful of countries don’t want us to proceed. They have stopped the IGN from progressing. They are using the IGN as a smoke-screen to stop themselves from being identified by paying lip-service to Security Council reform. The conditions they are laying out are impossible to fulfill – which is full consensus of all member states. Ironically, this is happening at a time when we were in a tearing hurry last week to give ourselves e-voting rights. But for IGN, they want no voting, leave alone e-voting, but only full consensus!

“I hope we have not started distancing ourselves from the UN@75 declaration even before the ink is dry.”


Tirumurti also suggested a way out of this impasse on India’s behalf.

“We want the application of the General Assembly Rules of Procedures to the IGN to bring about an open, inclusive and transparent process; secondly, we call for text-based negotiations to start—a text reflecting all positions and proposals from member states will be necessary to make progress; and let us reaffirm our firm support to the common African position, as specified in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration.”

“In the last Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, 120 NAM leaders, for the first time, added their voice of support to the Common African Position. “Let us not side-track this discussion by asking for greater representation only for Africa, but we need to ask for greater representation for all those who deserve to be in the Security Council, including Africa, Latin America, and others. For all this, we need a serious and credible process,” he said.

Do you think Pakistan escaped the shrapnel of this Indian fusillade attack? Not a chance.

“I do not wish to waste the time of this Assembly by responding to the irrelevant and irresponsible remarks made by the representative of Pakistan, which has become “Pavlovian” whenever India is mentioned. This is a forum for serious debate, not frivolous allegations,” he said.

Well done Tirumurti. Well done India.

(Readers could view his speech in Newsbred’s video section).

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