UN Indian Ambassador visits UVU

Reading Time: 2 minutes Hardeep Singh Puri discusses need for UN Security Council Reform.

Reading Time: 2 minutes
On Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Library auditorium, UVU was honored with a lecture by the UN Ambassador of India, Hardeep Singh Puri.
With a 39-year history as a foreign service officer for India, the world’s largest democracy, Puri has been an integral leader, promoting peace in recent world conflicts in Libya and Syria.


As current chairman of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee since January 2011, Puri talked about India’s recent part in Middle-Eastern conflicts and U.N. Security Council “desperate need for reform.”


Dallin Kauffman_web“Often behind every multilateral negotiation is anchored in larger objective that there are always some interests that try to manipulate the system and try to derive commercial benefit,” Puri said, stating the need for council reform.


The multilateral system of the UN Security Council is composed of 15 represented countries that aim to facilitate political, economic, or cultural relations though diplomatic agents such as Puri.


Puri’s major concern is the misuse of vetoing power by other countries. In early 2012, Arab League efforts to have Syria censured in the UN Security Council were vetoed by Russia and China, both members of the five permanent Security Council members. Arab states and the West continued to isolate Syria as uprising and repression continued escalating into civil war.


Puri wishes to prevent such situations by cracking down on UN veto power, especially in situations where a veto could lead to genocide.


Still, Puri stands firm in positions in which the UN Security Council has taken a firm position against radical leaders. In Syria, Puri said the UN had “no support for Gaddafi.”


When Gaddafi’s reign was most brutal, the UN Security Council voted on four components: freezing assets, no fly zone, ban on travel and ‘no fly zone’ over Libya. The final component of resolution in 1973 included a cease fire, which according to Puri, was where the resolution went wrong.


In the midst of the Libya conflict, 20,000 tons of U.S-aided ammunition intended for the protection of civilians spead from Libya to Syria, Puri said, and the results escalated to a full-on civil war.


In wanting to make sure that regulations are enforced, Puri recognized Gaddalfi’s long-lasting effect.


“Gaddalfi’s leaving did not solve the problem,” Puri said.


With a quote by Shakespeare, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones,” Puri made the point that large-scale problems cannot be solved simply by killing a volatile leader.


“We have to be careful with what we say because words have meaning,” Puri said, referencing all types of negotiations. “You can get into trouble if you are not clear what you mean.”


Despite dealing with difficult international conflicts, Puri still remains with a spirited sense of humor.


“After 40 years, [being a college professor] is the best job I ever had. What I enjoy most is a good intellectual sparring session,” Puri said.