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Sep 23, 2017 10:04 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Sushma Swaraj talks tough on Pakistan, calls for UNSC reforms

Pakistan is known more as an exporter of terrorism across the world, said Sushma Swaraj in her speech at United Nations General Assembly. Taking a hard line against Pakistan, Swaraj, who was expected to speak on terrorism, compared India with its often contentious neighbour.

Pakistan is known more as an exporter of terrorism across the world, said Sushma Swaraj in her speech at United Nations General Assembly. Taking a hard line against Pakistan, Swaraj, who was expected to speak on terrorism and climate change, compared India with its often contentious neighbour.

Swaraj criticised Pakistan and its role in harbouring known terrorist organizations. She stated that while India has created institutions like IITs and IIMs, Pakistan has built LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network.

Swaraj also took a page from recent history and chastised the Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi for raking up the Kashmir issue at UN. She reminded him that the two countries had resolved to end all issues bilaterally under the Shimla Agreement (1972) and Lahore Resolution.

Swaraj also called for an international definition of terrorism from the UN within this year.”If we cannot agree to define our enemy, how can we fight together?” she said.

With reference to climate change, Swaraj reiterated India's commitment to the Paris Accord and also called for developed nations to extend a helping hand in tackling climate change by ,"helping the less fortunate through technology transfer and green climate financing."

"Efforts at text-based negotiations on the reform and expansion of the UN Security Council were initiated in the last session and more than 160 nations had expressed support for this effort. If we are serious, then the least we can do is produce one text that can be the basis for negotiation," Swaraj said in her address to the UN General Assembly.

She hoped that this "will become a priority" for the UN.

"If that happens it will be a significant achievement," she said.

"We also have high expectations from the new Secretary General of the United Nations. If he (Antonio Guterres) wants to reform the peace and security architecture, he will also need to address reforms related to peacekeeping that have been urged for long. Without improvements in UN peacekeeping, this goal can't be achieved," she said.

For long India has been calling for reform of the UN Security Council.

Earlier this week, foreign ministers of G4 countries – India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan – met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to push their case for reform of the Security Council including expansion of its permanent and non-permanent members.

India has also received support from several other multilateral groupings during the current UN General Assembly session in this regard, including BRICS and IBSA.

Several countries have taken up the floor of the General Assembly to support India's bid for permanent membership.

"It seems to believe that it can afford not to change the precepts and perceptions that determined its birth. On September 18, there was a meeting here on UN reform. I participated. I witnessed an evident desire for change, to do something.

"But I do want to remind you that at the 2005 World Summit there was a consensus that the early reform of the Security Council is an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations," Swaraj said.

(With inputs from PTI)
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