India does not need to be told what to do on democracy, the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, who assumed Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of December, said at the United Nations on Thursday. On December 1, India assumed the monthly rotating Presidency of the 15-nation UNSC.
During its presidency, India will host signature events on countering terrorism and reformed multilateralism. The Presidency will bring the curtains down on India’s two-year tenure as elected non-permanent member of the powerful UN organ.
It is the second time after August 2021 that India is presiding over the Council during its two-year tenure as elected UNSC member. Kamboj, India’s first woman Permanent Representative to the UN, will sit in the President’s seat at the powerful horse-shoe table for the month.
On the first day of India’s presidency, she addressed reporters in the UN headquarters on the monthly programme of work. India’s 2021-2022 term on the Council ends on December 31.
On democracy and freedom of press
Asked about democracy and freedom of press in India, she said, “I would like to say that, we don’t need to be told what to do on democracy. India is perhaps the most ancient civilization in the world as all of you know. In India, democracy had roots going back to 2500 years, we were always a democracy. Coming down to very recent times, we have all the pillars of democracy that are intact — legislature, executive, judiciary and the fourth estate, the press. And a very vibrant social media. So, the country is the world’s largest democracy.
“Every five years we conduct the world’s largest democratic exercise. Everyone is free to say as they wish and please and that is how our country functions. It’s rapidly reforming, transforming and changing. And the trajectory has been very impressive. And I don’t have to say this, you don’t have to listen to me. Others are saying this,” Kamboj said.
“Over the last two years of our membership of the Council, I can say with confidence that we have been shouldering responsibilities well, and making every effort to bridge the different voices within the Council so as to ensure that the Council itself speaks in one voice as far as possible on a variety of issues. We will bring the same spirit to our December presidency,” Kamboj said.