India Proposes African Representation in UN Security Council at UNGA 78


During the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar urged for reforms that would involve African representation in the UN Security Council, aiming to provide a voice for the continent.

He said Security Council should be expanded, saying: “We must address global challenges imbued with the conviction that we are one earth and one family, with one future.”

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Jaishankar recalled the recent G20 Summit and said India’s Presidency focused on the key concerns of the many, not just the narrow interests of a few.

“At a time when East-West polarisation is so sharp and North-South divide so deep, the New Delhi Summit also affirms that diplomacy and dialogue are the only effective solutions.

“The international order is diverse, and we must cater for divergences, if not differences,” he said.

“The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over,” he said.

The minister highlighted the results of the Summit, which encompassed an action plan for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), environmental initiatives, reforms in international financial institutions, and the admission of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20

“By doing so, we gave voice to an entire continent which has long been its due,” he said, and in that context, urging reforms to the UN Security Council.

The Indian envoy said that days when a few nations set the global agenda and “expected others to fall in line” were over, noting that we often advocate the promotion of a rules-based order.

“From time to time, respect for the UN Charter is also invoked.

“But for all the talk, there are still a few nations who shape the agenda and seek to define the norms. This cannot go on indefinitely. Nor will it go unchallenged.”

Jaishankar also drew attention to the urgent concern of structural inequalities and imbalanced development, underscoring their influence on sustainable development, particularly in global South nations.

During his address in the General Assembly’s general debate, he stressed that these inequalities, combined with the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the repercussions of ongoing conflicts and tensions, have led to a regression in the socioeconomic advancements achieved in recent years.

“Resources for sustainable development are severely challenged. And many countries really struggle to make ends meet,” he said.

“When we aspire to be a leading power, this is not for self-aggrandisement but to take on greater responsibility and make more contributions.

“The goals we have set for ourselves will make us different from all those whose rise preceded ours,” he said.

He also highlighted India’s collaboration globally, including assisting with disaster response in Türkiye and Syria, supporting Sri Lanka during its economic crisis, and his country’s contributions to food security, technology, and climate action.

Domestically, he said, one-third of the seats in India’s legislatures are reserved for women by adopting a “path breaking legislation”.

“Next year’s Summit of the Future should be an opportunity to drive change, champion fairness and reform multilateralism,” Jaishankar said.