In his opening remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly called for an expansion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and backed India’s bid for a permanent seat at the UNSC along with that of Brazil, Germany and Japan. He also emphasised about giving Africa a voice on the global stage which it deserves.
“I will summarize by saying that the challenges the world presents us are legion. But we do have the opportunity to make positive progress. We do have the opportunity to get the Sustainable Development Goals back on track,” James Cleverly said. “It is going to mean that we work with our traditional friends and allies, but it also means that we have to give voice to the emerging powers in the world. The UK has encouraged an expansion of the United Nations Security Council for example, we believe that India, Brazil, Germany, Japan should have permanent membership, and Africa really deserves a louder voice on the world stage,” he added.
India has for quite some time been raising the issue of reforming the global system at global forums. Even during the concluding speech at the G20 leaders summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his stance of making global systems in accordance with the realities of the present and took the example of the UNSC.
Further in James Cleverly’s address, he spoke about his visit to Beijing and said that he spoke with the Chinese government on areas where there are very deep disagreements between the two countries. He also spoke about China’s treatment of its minority Uyghur Muslims and their failure to abide by the commitment to freely enter Hong Kong and its aggressive stance across the Taiwanese Strait.
The UK Foreign Secretary also spoke about the Russian conflict and said that Vladimir Putin used to think that he could very easily outpower Ukraine and its allies, however, he was wrong. He also plauded the US for providing arms and ammunition to Ukraine and help it militarily. He noted that the support of US, UK and many other countries has given Ukraine a fighting chance.
“The US is the leading supplier of military aid to Ukraine and I pay tribute to your nation’s generosity. And the Ukrainians are making the most of their support. And I know sometimes there’s frustration with the pace of their counter-offensive, I’ve had military briefings, and whilst I don’t want to bore you with the details, the Russian occupying forces have spent a huge amount of time and effort fortifying the whole of that southern part of Ukraine, meaning that any advance would inevitably need to be both slow and methodical,” Cleverly said.
“Russia has suffered many times more fatalities in combat in just over eighteen months than the Soviets did during their 10 years in Afghanistan. That level is unsustainable,” he said, adding that the UK will continue to call on the international community to offer support to Ukraine.
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