Jaishankar said India ensured that basic needs were very effectively addressed even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Describing terrorism as one of the gravest threats to humankind, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday that the bodies dealing with human rights should realise that terrorism can never be justified, nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims.

Also read: India at UN says terrorism most serious violation of human rights, emanating from beyond its borders

Speaking at the high-level segment of 46th session of Human Rights Council, Mr. Jaishankar said terrorism is a crime against humanity and violates the most fundamental human right namely the right to life.

“Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind,” he said in a virtual address.

“As a long-standing victim, India has been at forefront of global action against terrorism. It’s possible only when there’s a clear realisation, including in bodies dealing with human rights, that terrorism can never be justified nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims,” he said.

He said India presented last month at the UN an eight-point action plan to deal with the scourge of terrorism. “We will continue to work together with members of the UNSC and other states to ensure implementation of our action plan,” he added.

He said that the human rights agenda continues to face severe challenges, most of all from terrorism. The perennial concerns remain equally strong, be it global inequities or armed conflicts, he said.

“The ongoing pandemic has complicated the situation in many geographies. There is a need for us to come together to overcome these challenges. At the same time, multilateral institutions and mechanisms need to be reformed to deal with these challenges effectively,” he added.

He said that the violation of and gaps in implementation of human rights should be addressed in a fair and just manner with objectivity, non-selectivity, transparency and with due respect to the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and national sovereignty.

Jaishankar said India’s approach to the UNHRC is guided by spirit of engagement, dialogue and consultation. “Equal emphasis should be placed on promotion and protection of human rights. They’re best pursued via dialogue, consultation and cooperation amongst states and technical assistance and capacity building,” the minister said.

“Our Constitution has enshrined basic human rights as fundamental rights, guaranteeing civil and political rights, stipulating provisions for progressive realisation of economic, social and cultural rights,” he added.

He said India ensured that basic needs were very effectively addressed even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“As we address the health front at home, we responded to the world in equal measure. We provided essential medicines and equipment to more than 150 countries to assist them in this fight,” he said.

“In the same spirit, India has pledged to use its vaccine manufacturing capacity to make vaccines accessible and affordable 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,” he added.

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