India ‘Very Important’, but it is for Members to Decide on Its UNSC Membership: Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (File photo/Reuters)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (File photo/Reuters)

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi ahead of the G20 Summit, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres made a strong pitch for immediate reforms to UNSC and other multilateral institutions

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Friday described India as “the country of the world” and a “very important” partner in the multilateral system but said it is for the members and not him to decide on its UN Security Council membership.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi ahead of the G20 Summit, he made a strong pitch for immediate reforms to UNSC and other multilateral institutions, as he asserted that the future of the world is multipolar but “our multilateral institutions reflect a bygone age”.

Asked whether it was time for India to become a member of the UNSC, he said, “It is not for me to decide who would be in UNSC, it is for the members.” “But it is obvious that India is today the country of the world with the largest population and it is a very important partner in the multilateral system,” he said.

“All I can say that I believe that we need reform in the multilateral system to reflect today’s world,” Guterres added.

Asked whether there should be a timeline for reforms to the multilateral institutions, he said, “There is a need to do it but I am not sure if we get it, but I think it is urgent.” Guterres hoped India’s presidency of G20 would help achieve the transformative changes that the world desperately needs as he warned against the catastrophe of growing divisions and eroding trust in a fragmented world.

He said the phrase of ‘One Earth, One Family and One Future’ adopted by India as a G20 theme, inspired by the Maha Upanishad, finds profound resonance in today’s world.

“If we are indeed one global family, today we resemble rather a dysfunctional one,” he added.

Guterres said, “I hope that India’s presidency of G20 will help achieve the kind of transformative change that our world desperately needs, in line with the repeated commitment of India to act on behalf of the global south and its determination to pursue developmental agenda.”

“Divisions are growing, tensions are flaring up and trust is eroding, which together raise the spectre of fragmentation and ultimately confrontation. This fracturing world would be deeply concerning in the best of times, but in our times it spells catastrophe,” he added.

The UN chief said the world is in a different moment of transition and that its future is multipolar but our multilateral institutions reflect a bygone age.

“The global financial architecture is outdated, outdated and unfair. It requires deep structural reforms and the same can be said about UN Security Council.

“We need to reflect the 21st century, that is why I have been advocating for bold steps to make global institutions truly universal and representative of today’s realities and more responsive to the needs of developing economies,” he said.

Guterres cautioned that there was no time to lose as wars and conflicts were multiplying and new technologies are raising red flags.

“Poverty, hunger and inequality are growing but global solidarity is missing. We must come together for the common good,” he said while urging G20 members to work together to tackle the challenges as they are in control of the global economy.

Guterres also said he is not very hopeful that there will be a peace solution in the immediate future for the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He said the two parties still did not appear to be ending the conflict.

Asked whether India could mediate to end the war, he said, “When you have a conflict, all efforts of mediation is welcome…(but) I am not very hopeful that we will have a peace solution in the immediate future.”

On the need for reforms to multilateral institutions, he said when these multilateral institutions were created, many of the countries of today did not even exist.

“This is true for UNSC and many others,” he said.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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