India abstains on UNSC resolution exempting aid from sanctions
United Nations, Dec 10 (PTI) India has abstained in the UN Security Council on a resolution establishing humanitarian exemption across all United Nations sanctions regimes, asserting that blacklisted terror groups, including in its neighbourhood, have taken full advantage of such carve-outs and have been able to raise funds and recruit fighters.
The 15-nation Council, currently being presided over by India, voted on the resolution on Friday that was tabled by the US and Ireland to create a sanctions carve-out that exempted humanitarian efforts, with Washington asserting that the resolution “will save countless lives” after being adopted.
India was the sole abstention while all other 14 members of the Council voted in favour of the resolution that decided that processing or payment of funds, other financial assets, economic resources, and provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance are permitted and are not a violation of the asset freezes imposed by the Council or its Sanctions Committee.
Council President and India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, speaking in her national capacity as she delivered the explanation of the vote, said that “our concerns emanate from proven instances of terrorist groups taking full advantage of such humanitarian carve-outs, and making a mockery of sanction regimes, including that of the 1267 Sanctions Committee.”
Kamboj also made a thinly-veiled reference to Pakistan and the terror outfits based on its soil.
“There have also been several cases of terrorist groups in our neighbourhood, including those listed by this Council, re-incarnating themselves as humanitarian organisations and civil society groups precisely to evade these sanctions,” she said in an apparent reference to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which calls itself a humanitarian charity but is widely seen as a front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET).