Ruchira Kamboj, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, stated at a United Nations meeting on Thursday that the country does not need to be told what to do about democracy.
“India is perhaps the most ancient civilisation in the world as all of you know. In India, democracy had roots going back to 2500 years, we were always a democracy. Coming down to very recent times, we have all the pillars of democracy that are intact – legislature, executive, judiciary and the fourth estate, the press. And a very vibrant social media. So the country is the world’s largest democracy,” said Kamboj, at the UN Security Council (UNSC), whose presidency India holds for the month of December.
Kamboj continued, “Every five years we conduct the world’s largest democratic exercise. Everyone is free to say as they wish and please and that is how our country functions. It’s rapidly reforming, transforming and changing. And the trajectory has been very impressive. And I don’t have to say this, you don’t have to listen to me. Others are saying this.”
India’s term as president of the UNSC, with Kamboj sitting at the horseshoe table as the country’s first woman permanent representative, expires on December 31. The Indian government also assumed the year-long presidency of the G20 on December 1. As part of the first day of India’s UNSC presidency, Kamboj spoke to reporters at the UN headquarters about the monthly work programme.
A meeting between Kamboj, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and UN General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi took place, and priorities of the UNSC were discussed.
“Today, delighted to call on Secretary-General @antonioguterres. Discussed the priorities and programme of work ahead of India’s December Presidency in the @UN Security Council,” tweeted Kamboj on November 29.
On Monday, Kőrösi had tweeted: “Always a great pleasure to meet with India’s PR @ruchirakamboj. Today’s discussions focused on India’s presidency of the Security Council, which begins on Thursday. I look forward to the month ahead.”
During its presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council, the Indian government plans to host signature events to counter terrorism and reform multilateralism. India’s two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the powerful UN body will come to an end this month. As part of his duties as External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will travel to New York on December 14 and 15, to chair the signature events at the UNSC, which are expected to highlight the major concerns of the global south.
In accordance with reports, India will hold a “high-level open debate” at the UNSC on December 14, titled ‘Maintenance of International Peace and Security: New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism’, which proposes reforms to the multilateral architecture to make it more representative and functional, with the UN at its centre.
A UN source said that this open debate will encourage member-states to consider the elements of a new multilateral orientation, and how to move forward in this regard in a time-bound manner. Both Kőrösi and Guterres will be present for the same.
The high-level briefing themed ‘Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts: Global Approach to Counter Terrorism — Challenges and Way Forward’, slated for December 15, is the other notable event on the UNSC calendar for this month.