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India underlines importance of making African voices stronger in multilateral organisations

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UNITED NATIONS, May 24: India has underlined the need for making African voices stronger in multilateral organisations to ensure they can argue their case and call out external interferences.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj told the UN Security Council on Thursday that it is “high time” that the comity of nations gives due credence to the African member states.

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“Sustainable peace and security is possible only if external forces do not intervene for vested interests. This calls for making African voices stronger in multilateral organisations so that they can argue their own case and call out external interferences,” she said.

Kamboj noted that it was this conviction, which drove India to successfully campaign for the admission of the African Union into the G20 during its presidency in 2023.

She said the high-level Summit of the Future, to be held during the UN General Assembly this year, presents a precious window of opportunity to display “our collective commitment to reform the existing multilateral system and strengthen both the capacities and the role that our friends from Africa might play”.

Kamboj underlined that India believes that Africa’s rise is essential for true multipolarity in the global order and New Delhi is committed to that end.

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She said India has always worked with Africa for the continent’s priorities in both bilateral and multilateral channels even as it meets its own development targets.

“This tradition of South-South solidarity continues to strengthen. For India, therefore, our partnership with Africa is and will remain a top priority,” the envoy said, adding that there cannot be any peace without development.

Kamboj emphasised that no society or nation has so far managed to achieve peace and stability without eradicating poverty and providing basic human development and economic opportunities to its people.

“Sustainable economic growth calls for investment in education, in health, in infrastructure, in agriculture, energy security, amongst other areas. Thus, Financing for Development holds the key. This can be facilitated by genuine partnerships that empower the Africans and take into account Africa’s priorities,” she said.

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The envoy asserted that in India’s continuous endeavour to provide impetus to the voice and aspirations of the Global South, “we have maintained that the continued denial of representation in the permanent category of membership is a blot on the collective credibility of this Council”.

India has always supported the Ezulwini consensus and called for permanent African representation in an expanded Security Council, “those who are responsible for denial by delay and perpetuating a historical injustice must be called out”.

On matters related to peace and security, Kamboj said the Security Council should respect a regional approach adopted by countries who are involved and work in collaboration with regional organisations to address these shared challenges.

Kamboj also voiced concern over the spread of terrorism in Africa, saying terrorist outfits deserve the priority attention of the Council in their response to addressing security threats confronting the continent today.

“Capacity constraints and the lack of sustained financing have indeed become major impediments in the fight against terrorism,” she said.

She also noted that peacekeeping operations and special political missions need to be sufficiently mandated and resourced to implement respective mandates.

“Our experience in peacekeeping in Africa shows that missions often struggle to implement unimplementable and unclear mandates. Peacekeeping missions should, as a direct consequence of what I’ve said, have clear and well-thought-out exit strategies,” Kamboj said. (PTI)

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