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Address by External Affairs Minister at UNSC Open Debate on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations

April 19, 2021

Thank you, Mr. President.

At the outset, let me convey our best wishes to Your Excellency on your election as the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. I also thank the Vietnamese delegation for organizing this high-level Open Debate on enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations. Excellency, your chairing of today’s debate has brought a special focus to this very important issue.

2. Regional and sub-regional organizations have demonstrated their important role in the maintenance of international peace and security. With their deep knowledge of local factors and complexities, regional and sub-regional organizations are uniquely placed to contribute to finding better solutions to conflicts in their respective regions. We, therefore, support engagement between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations, in line with the UN Charter.

Mr. President

3. The world order that we built following the Second World War is under serious stress. The nature of threats faced by member states when the United Nations was founded 75 years ago has also changed. Contemporary security challenges are not limited to territorial or political disputes, but transcend physical or political boundaries. In today’s globalized world, terrorism, radicalization, drug trafficking and organised crime have a growing salience. The security implications of new technologies cannot be disregarded.

4. To face such diverse challenges, we need coordinated and concerted action across borders. We think that enhanced cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations will be an important factor in successfully addressing such contemporary challenges and conflicts. In this context, a rational evaluation of the cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-organizations during the last 75 years will provide a good basis for our future engagements.

5. Mr. President, India has traditionally maintained close and friendly cooperation with regional organizations. India’s relationship with the ASEAN is a key pillar of its foreign policy and the foundation of its Act East Policy. India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific as a free, open and inclusive region, underpinned by international law and a rules based order, is premised on ASEAN centrality and the common pursuit of progress and prosperity.

6. India remains committed to further building on the momentum of regional cooperation under the BIMSTEC framework and make that organization stronger, vibrant, and more effective and result oriented. Our relationship with Africa spans centuries, and we have had close cooperation with the African Union, especially for development partnership initiatives. In addition to our large peacekeeping presence in Africa, India has been deeply committed to peacebuilding and sustaining peace through large UN peace keeping operations in Africa.

7. Let me conclude, by reiterating our strong support for cooperation between the UN and regional organizations. We believe that this partnership is inevitable for responding collectively, coherently, and decisively to effectively prevent, manage and resolve violent conflicts and promote peace and development.

I thank you Mr. President.

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