By Lalit K Jha
Pittsburgh, Sep 23 (PTI) Mexico has proposed to the United Nations to set up a committee that would include India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to mediate permanent peace between Russia and Ukraine.
The proposal was put forward by Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubón, the foreign minister of Mexico, while participating in a UN Security Council debate on Ukraine in New York.
This came days after Modi, who met Putin on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan's Samarkand, told the Russian leader that "today's era is not of war". The Indian prime minister's remarks have been welcomed by the western world including the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
"Based on its pacifist vocation, Mexico believes that the international community must now channel its best efforts to achieve peace," Casaubón said.
"In this regard, I would like to share with you the proposal of the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to strengthen the mediation efforts of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, through the formation of a Committee for Dialogue and Peace in Ukraine with the participation of other heads of state and government, including, if possible, His Excellency Narendra Modi and His Holiness Pope Francis."
He said the objective of the committee would be to generate new mechanisms for dialogue and create complementary spaces for mediation to build confidence, reduce tensions and open the way for lasting peace.
Casaubon said the Mexican delegation will continue with the necessary consultations to contribute towards generating broad support for the mediation efforts led by the UN secretary-general as well as for the committee, "whose formation we hope will proceed with the support of the UN member states that so decide".
"As the Secretary-General has said, it is time to act and commit to peace. To settle for war is always to go to the precipice," he said.
The Mexican foreign minister argued that peace can only be achieved through dialogue, diplomacy and by building effective political channels.
"Indifference is unacceptable, just as it is unacceptable to simply lament the fact that, so far, in the case in question, the Security Council has not been able to fulfil its essential responsibility," he said.
"The reasons why this Council can become dysfunctional are well known. It is up to us to correct them. The time is right to consider, in all seriousness, the structural reforms required to do so," Casaubon added. PTI LKJ NSD