S Jaishankar on terrorism, the G20 summit, and ‘today’s Bharat’: ten highlights from his UNGA speech

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the 78th United Nations General Assembly, emphasising that “political expediency” cannot dictate responses to terrorism, extremism, and violence.

Jaishankar’s statement looks to be a disguised attack on Canada, which is at odds with India over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s suspicions of Indian meddling in the execution of Khalistani rebel Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

The union minister also discussed India’s role as a world force, the G20 Summit in Delhi and its accomplishments, the creation of a new democratic order, and closed his speech by expressing what defines today’s ‘India, that is Bharat.’

Here are top 10 quotes from the EAM’s address:

“We must never allow an injustice like vaccine apartheid to happen again.” Climate action cannot continue to be characterised by an abdication of past duties. Market power should not be used to shift food and energy from the poor to the wealthy. We cannot accept that political expediency defines how we respond to terrorism, extremism, and bloodshed.”

“Likewise, respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs cannot be cherry-picked.” We must have the fortitude to call out when reality diverges from rhetoric.”

“It was also noteworthy that the African Union was admitted as a permanent member of the G20 at India’s initiative.” We gave voice to an entire continent that had long been denied its due… This huge reform step should motivate the United Nations, a far older organisation, to modernise the Security Council as well. “A wide range of representation is required for both effectiveness and credibility.”

“A few nations continue to shape the agenda and seek to define the norms.” This cannot be sustained forever. It will not go unchallenged indefinitely… When we all put our minds to it, a fair, equitable, and democratic order will undoubtedly emerge. For starters, ensuring that rule creators do not oppress rule takers.”

“At this juncture, India assumed the G20 presidency with a sense of exceptional responsibility.” Our ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ concept intended to focus on the main issues of the many rather than the narrow interests of the few.”

“India also seeks to foster cooperation with a wide range of partners.” We have progressed from the era of non-alignment to that of “Vishwa Mitra – a friend to the world.”

“This is reflected in our ability and willingness to engage with a diverse range of nations and, as needed, align interests.” It is visible in the QUAD’s quick growth, as well as the BRICS grouping’s expansion and the emergence of I2U2.”

“The G20 vision of One Earth, One Family sought to focus on many people’s concerns, bridge divides, and plant seeds of collaboration.” The declaration expresses the collective ability to do so. At a time when the North-South gap is widening, the Delhi Summit underscores that diplomacy and dialogue are the only way forward, and the days of a few states setting the agenda are long gone.”

“I speak for a society in which ancient democratic traditions have taken deep modern roots.” As a result, our perspectives, ideas, and actions are more grounded and genuine.”

“As a civilisational polity that embraces modernity, we bring both tradition and technology to the table with equal confidence.” This synthesis is what distinguishes India today, and it is known as Bharat.”

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