Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

Statement by Foreign Secretary in the Security Council High-level Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East

September 27, 2012

Thank you, Mr. President.

  • Let me begin by congratulating you on presiding over this High Level Meeting on peace and security in West Asia and North Africa. I also want to thank the UN Secretary General and the Secretary General of the League of States for their valuable statements.
  • Mr. President, developments in West Asia and North Africa have played a major role in shaping the history of the world since ancient times. The region has been the birthplace of major religions of the world and of great civilizations. By virtue of the genius of its peoples, its strategic location and its natural resources, the region has been a focus of considerable interest internationally. It is, therefore, not surprising that the momentous transformation in several countries of the region since late 2010 has been of great interest to the world at large. It has been a general aspiration that these transformations should be peaceful and lead to inclusive and democratic outcomes within these countries.
  • The League of Arab States, as the most important regional organization predating the United Nations, has played a significant role in the unfolding of events in the region, and guided the involvement of the international community in these events. Chapter VIII of the UN Charter recognizes the importance of the regional organizations and their role in matters related to the maintenance of international peace and security. The Charter also provides a broad framework for this Council’s cooperation with the regional organizations, while clearly stating the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • The cooperation between the Arab League and the United Nations started in early 1950’s. Both organizations have benefited from the convergence of objectives to maintain international peace and security, despite occasional differences. Enhanced partnership between UN agencies and the Arab League at institutional level in the fields of human development, capacity building, and empowerment of women and youth have been of great benefit for the countries of the region. There is a need now for further strengthening the existing cooperation to help the countries in the region in meeting the aspirations of their people for playing a greater role in shaping their destiny. India stands ready to cooperate in this regard.
  • Mr. President, it is important to underline here that this Council’s cooperation with regional organizations, particularly with the League of Arab States, should avoid selectivity. Also, cooperation with one regional organization should not come at the cost of another. The objective of peaceful resolution of conflicts should determine the actions of the Security Council. All UN activities, including its cooperation with regional organizations, should be consistent with the provisions of the UN Charter.

    Both organizations should use all tools of diplomacy to assist the concerned countries in transiting to an inclusive and participatory polity while maintaining social stability and cohesion. The cooperation should encompass all relevant issues related to international peace and security, particularly the fight against terrorism. The principles of national sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity must be respected. It is also important that peculiarities of each situation are kept in mind.
  • Mr. President, if there is one issue that requires immediate attention of both the United Nations and the League of Arab States, it is the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This issue cannot be ignored while we focus on recent developments in the region. There can be no durable peace in West Asia without a just and comprehensive settlement, based on the realization by the Palestinian people of their inalienable right to a state of their own with internationally recognized borders, living side by side and in peace and security with Israel. We, therefore, urge this Council as well as the Arab League to urgently facilitate the resumption of the Middle East Peace Process.
  • Mr. President, the League of Arab States has been playing an important role in resolving the Syrian crisis. We fully support the peaceful resolution of the conflict through a Syrian-led inclusive political process, based on firm rejection of any military intervention. We urge all sides, Syrian and foreign, to cooperate with Joint Special Representative Mr. Lakhdhar Brahimi in good faith so that the Syrian crisis can be resolved without any further bloodshed.
I thank you.

New York
September 26, 2012


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