NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said terrorism remains one of the gravest threats to humankind and constitutes a severe challenge to the agenda of human rights.
“Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind. It is a crime against humanity and violates the most fundamental human right - namely, the right to life. As a long-standing victim, India has been in the forefront of the global action against terrorism,” he said in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.
This is the first time that an Indian foreign minister has addressed the Council. Calling for a coordinated global response to the challenges confronting human rights, Jaishankar said the situation was complicated by the pandemic and the need of the hour was for countries to come together against the challenges.
“This is possible only when there is a clear realisation, including in bodies dealing with human rights, that terrorism can never be justified, nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims.”
India, he said, was committed to protecting human rights and it was reflected in the handling of the pandemic both at home and abroad.
“By giving direct food support to 800 million Indians and financial support to 400 million, many of them women, we ensured that basic needs were very effectively addressed even during the lockdown. And as we addressed the health front at home, we responded to the world in equal measure.”
The minister also highlighted India’s help to more than 150 countries through the supply of vaccines, saying New Delhi has pledged to use its manufacturing capacity to make vaccines affordable and accessible to all.
“From Bangladesh to Brazil and from Morocco to Fiji, the pharmacy of the world is today supplying millions of vaccine doses to more than 70 countries.”