S. Jaishankar
Pic Credit : Outlook

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday called out the “narrow” leadership in the United Nations (UN) and asserted that there is a need to revamp the inter-governmental organisation. He also said that somebody needs to press “refresh button” on the UN to reform multilateralism.

In a strong-worded speech at Global Technology Summit, S Jaishankar said, “For obvious reasons, we tend to equate multilateralism with the UN.”

“Today the UN is 75 yrs old. The problem we have today about the narrow representation at the leadership levels of the United Nations is a challenge to its credibility and effectiveness,” said the Indian Foreign Minister.

Stressing on the need to revamp the UN, Jaishankar went on to add, “You do need to reform multilateralism, you do need to make it representative, you need to refresh your phone regularly. Somebody needs to press that refresh button on the United Nations.”

You do need to reform multilateralism, you do need to make it representative, you need to refresh your phone regularly. Somebody needs to press that refresh button on the United Nations: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at Global Technology Summit, via video conferencing https://t.co/DydDQV1G8X— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2020

It should be noted that the UN Security Council (UNSC), the decision-making body of the UN, has only five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – with veto powers.

This arrangement of power-sharing among these five nations remains unchanged since the establishment of the UN in 1945. India, Japan, Germany and Brazil have been making a serious push to make the UNSC more representative.

S Jaishankar addressed the opening session of the summit via video conference. The Global Technology Summit was organised by the Indian chapter of the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank in collaboration with the Indian foreign ministry.

S Jaishankar also shed light on how COVID-19 pandemic has made health security a key cog in national security. He also stressed on the sheer importance of data security.

“Our sense of national security has widened to capture many other domains of our existence. Suddenly, COVID has made health security a very central part of national security. I would argue that pre-Covid and certainly post-Covid, data security is central to national security,” he opined.

Jaishankar also spoke of how the world had become less trusting against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic with national security now encompassing the concepts of health, food and data security. While distrust had grown between some countries between others like India and the US, ties had become stronger, he added.