New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar pressed for reforms at United Nations.
External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar on Wednesday, June 30, made a strong case for immediate reforms at the United Nations and quizzed former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, “What’s it you’re using which is 75 years old?”
“…. The bigger issue is whether multilateralism living up to the new global challenges, the new global agenda,” Dr. Jaishankar said at the India Global Forum debate with Blair, who is the Executive Chairperson of the Institute for Global Change.
He stated that the actual question is "should we restructure the UN?" and ensure that countries like India, the world's fifth-largest economy and second-largest country, be the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“I would put it to you that unless we make it more contemporary…. ask yourself what it is you are using which is 75 years old.”
“Anything in your personal life, look around you other than relatives….75 years is a long time. It needs an update. We need a new agenda, a new system, and a new process,” Dr. Jaishankar underlined.
About some of the existing ‘permanent’ members who are holding a monopoly, the Minister said, “We can’t have people who benefited in history from a certain set of circumstances and freeze it and say that’s how the world will be forever.”
Responding to him, Mr. Blair said–“What he (Dr. Jaishankar) says about the UN Security Council is correct.”
But it is “very hard” to bring the necessary changes “because the countries who are already there do not want to give it up like Britain.”
But he admitted, “You cannot justify” why India is not there as a permanent member of the Security Council.
However, he said technical issues would still be around. “If you bring in India and say Britain stay back, then what about Japan or Germany?”
A case for 'Responsibility and Accountability of big techies
Amid high voltage confrontation between the microblogging site Twitter and the government, the External Affairs Minister said while big tech companies enjoy huge power, their accountability cannot be brushed under the carpet but ought to be debated.
"I think they (accountability of big tech cos.) cannot be brushed under the carpet, saying you should not question them because then you are attacking freedom of speech. I think that’s a cop-out. Obviously, it serves their interests,” Dr. Jaishankar said.
“They (techies) have huge power, (but) where is the accountability? This is again not an issue limited to India. They harvest our data as they do across the world. So you have, in a sense, the opposite of the American Revolution, which is to have representation and no taxation,” Jaishankar said.
He said, "….in a democratic society, we have to ask ourselves, big tech is there; it is in my life, visibly in my life. You have a big presence, (but) where is the responsibility which comes with it".
Significantly, the remarks came on a day Delhi police have registered a case against Twitter for allegedly displaying child pornography and sexual abuse content.
The Cyber Crime Cell has acted on a complaint from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, according to Delhi police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal.
Various social media platforms, including Twitter, are accused of spreading lies and fake news, particularly against the Modi government, the BJP, and its leaders.