Ukraine, Russia have to return to path of diplomacy, dialogue: India at UNSC meeting

7 December, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

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According to India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, India has consistently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged Ukraine and Russia to re...

According to India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, India has consistently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged Ukraine and Russia to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.

While addressing the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine: Protection of civilians and the situation of children, Kamboj said, “India has consistently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to the violence. India has called upon both sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue, and also expressed its support for all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict.”

“We believe that no solution can arrive at the cost of innocent lives. Our Prime Minister has spoken to the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia on multiple occasions and reiterated India’s position. India stands ready to support all such efforts aimed at de-escalation,” she added.

Concerning the situation in Ukraine, Kamboj stated that India has remained worried about the situation in the nation. She went on to say that the violence has cost lives and caused innumerable hardships for its people, notably women, children, and the elderly, with millions becoming homeless and forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. Recent reports of assaults on individuals and civilian infrastructure are very concerning.

Recalling India’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other low-income countries which are affected by the Moscow-Kyiv war, Kamboj said, “We are providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and economic support to some of our neighbours in the Global South under economic distress.”

“To help low-income countries fight against price rise and shortage of foodstuffs, India has exported more than 1.8 million tons of wheat to countries in need, including to Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan, and Yemen,” she added.

She also stated that the impact of the Ukraine crisis extends beyond Europe. Concerns over food, fertiliser, and fuel security are being exacerbated by the war, particularly in poor nations. It is vital that we all recognise the significance of fairness, affordability, and accessibility in these critical concerns for the Global South. Open markets must not be used to justify perpetuating unfairness and promoting prejudice.

Children make up one-third of mankind – the most crucial third, because they represent the world’s future. Children are also the most vulnerable to suffering, especially in times of armed conflict, and hence require extra protection and care. The situation in Ukraine is undoubtedly having a negative influence on the country’s 7.5 million youngsters, according to Kamboj.

“While the protection of the rights of the child, including their access to education is the primary responsibility of the national government, the international community has the obligation, to do its utmost to provide succour to children affected by conflict. India is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is appreciative of the ongoing efforts including that of UNICEF to alleviate the sufferings of the children. We also support UNICEF efforts to scale up its operations,” India’s envoy to the UN said.

During her address, Kamboj recalled the foreign student situation in Ukraine and said, “India facilitated the safe return of 22,500 Indian nationals, most of them students, studying in various universities in Ukraine. We are exploring options to minimize the impact on our students’ education. We appreciate the relaxations made by the Ukrainian government for this academic year in respect of medical students.”

It is worth noting that India initiated ‘Operation Ganga’ to bring back Indian people who had become stuck in Ukraine following Russia’s incursion.

Kamboj expressed hope that the world community will continue to respond favourably to the demand for humanitarian aid.

So far, India has sent 12 consignments of humanitarian supplies to Ukraine. India has also offered financial assistance to the Ukrainian government for the renovation of an educational institution, according to Kamboj during the UN Security Council meeting.