Blocking listing proposals in UNSC to sanction terrorists smacks of double-speak: India

Ruchira Kamboj underscored that while listing decisions are public, rejections remain undisclosed, which is akin to a "disguised veto"

Ruchira Kamboj, highlighted the lack of transparency in the sanctions committee's decisions and called for reform to ensure genuine progress in addressing global security challenges (photo: PTI)
Ruchira Kamboj, highlighted the lack of transparency in the sanctions committee's decisions and called for reform to ensure genuine progress in addressing global security challenges (photo: PTI)


India has said that blocking evidence-based proposals in the UN Security Council to blacklist global terrorists without justification smacks of "double-speak" in dealing with the scourge, a veiled reference to China that has put holds on bids to sanction Pakistan-based terrorists.

“Let us turn to the subsidiary bodies inhabiting a subterranean world, with their own custom-made working methods and obscure practices which do not find any legal basis in the Charter or any of the Council’s resolutions,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said.

Kamboj was referring to the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council as she delivered India’s statement at the open debate on Monday on the Working Methods of the 15-nation UN body.

“For instance, while we do get to know of the decisions of these committees on listing, the decisions on rejecting listing requests are not made public. This is indeed a disguised veto, but an even more impervious one that indeed merits a discussion amongst the wider membership,” she said.

Kamboj highlighted that “genuine, evidence-based listing proposals for globally sanctioned terrorists to be blocked, without giving any due justification, is uncalled for and smacks of double-speak when it comes to the Council’s commitment to tackling the challenge of terrorism.”

Kamboj’s remarks appeared to be a veiled reference to the Council’s permanent and veto-wielding member China that has repeatedly blocked or put technical holds on bids by India and supported by other Council members under the 1267 Al Qaida Sanctions Committee to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists.

In June last year, China blocked a proposal by India and the US to designate Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Sajid Mir, wanted for his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, as a global terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the Security Council.

On various occasions in the past, Beijing, an all-weather friend of Islamabad, placed holds and blocks on bids by India to list Pakistan-based terrorists.

In May 2019, India had won a huge diplomatic win at the UN when the global body designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist”, a decade after New Delhi had first approached the world body on the issue.

Kamboj further said that as an organ of the United Nations tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security, the debate on the Council’s working methods remains extremely relevant, especially in the backdrop of Ukraine and Gaza.

“As such, how much has the Security Council been able to deliver on peace and security, with both feet firmly fixed in the past, is a larger question that the member states need to collectively ponder upon,” she said.

The Council has remained deeply polarised and failed on multiple occasions to take action on resolutions to deal with the Ukraine and Gaza conflicts due to vetos cast by its permanent members such as the US and Russia.

“As the threats to international peace and security evolve, so must this Council. We ask those blocking progress on this vital issue to heed calls for genuine reform, and contribute to making this Council truly fit for purpose for the 21st century,” she said.

Reiterating the need for urgent UNSC reforms, Kamboj said, “We also witness an equitable representation sized hole in the Security Council between the P5 and E10,” referring to the five permanent members - China, France, Russia, the UK and the US and the remaining 10 non-permanent Council members elected for 2-year terms.

“What we therefore need is a Security Council that better reflects contemporary realities – the geographical and developmental diversity of the multipolar world of today, including the voices of the developing countries and unrepresented regions, like Africa, Latin America and the vast majority of Asia and the Pacific. For this, an expansion of the Council in both categories of membership is absolutely essential,” she said.

Kamboj asserted that the international community can no longer hide behind the “smokescreen” of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on UNSC reform by delivering “entrenched national positions in a process which has no time frame, and no text."

"We should embark upon the only established process in the UN, which is by engaging in negotiations based on text and not through speaking at each other, or past each other, as we have done for the past three decades," she said.

Last week, India presented a detailed model on behalf of the G4 nations -- Brazil, Germany, Japan and itself -- for Security Council reform that includes new permanent members elected democratically by the General Assembly and displays flexibility on the veto issue, as Delhi emphasised that the UN’s 80th anniversary next year serves as a milestone to achieve concrete progress on the long-pending subject.

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Published: 12 Mar 2024, 9:31 AM