Calling terrorism a 'scourge', the President-elect of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Maldives Foreign Minister, Abdulla Shahid, on Thursday said that the United Nations Security Council needs to address the matter soon.
In the wake of the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, post-withdrawal of the American forces, and Taliban resurgence, Shahid said terrorism is a scourge that has been in this region, and in many parts of the world, and has taken the lives of numerous civilians.
"It doesn't know any religion, borders, or humanity. It's evil. We need to address it comprehensively. The UN has been slow in coming with the definition. I hope that the definition would be reached soon," Shahid said.
Terrorism is a scourge that has been in this region, in many parts of world & has taken lives of many civilians. It doesn't know any religion, borders or humanity. It's evil. We need to address it comprehensively: Abdullah Shahid, President-elect of UNGA & Foreign Min of Maldives pic.twitter.com/SNve0zcyLv— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2021
When the President-elect of the UNGA was asked about state sponsorship and support of terrorism by Pakistan, he said that the UN deals with terrorism issues in the Sixth Committee and that the convention that has been mandated to come out of the Sixth Committee continues to be negotiated. He stressed that he was hopeful that the 76th Session will see some progress.
Further, when asked about terrorism as a regional issue and how India is threatened by it, Shahid said the UN is working very closely with India. "We've been working for years with India, Sri Lanka, and our neighbours, as well as the US and other countries as terrorism and extremism have no borders. Unless we work with everyone, we'll not be able to achieve any significant progress," the UNGP President-elect said.
He further commented on UN reforms and supported India's permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council. "We support the membership of India in the Security Council as a permanent member. As President of General Assembly, it would be my role to bring the countries together and try to form a broad consensus on the Security Council reform process," Shahid said.
We support the membership of India in the Security Council as a permanent member. As President of General Assembly, it would be my role to bring the countries together & try to form a broad consensus on Security Council reform process: Abdullah Shahid, President-elect of UNGA pic.twitter.com/Ek9j9lezKw— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2021
On being asked about the kind of support he is seeking from India at the UN, Shahid said, "India is a member of the Security Council as a non-permanent member. It is going to chair the Security Council as President in August, and again in the 76th session during my Presidency, India will be chairing the Council. India's role has grown immensely and I hope that as India supported my candidature, it will support my presidency in realising the presidency of hope."
India had strongly backed the candidature of Abdulla in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) polls and the support was evident during Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla's visit to the Maldives in the month of November last year. Again, during the visit of External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to the Maldives in February of 2021, India repeatedly continued to advocate for his candidature. This is his first visit to any country after being elected to the prestigious post on June 7.
(Inputs from ANI)