New York: India on Thursday (local time) emphasized on peaceful settlement of disputes, application and strengthening of the rule of law at the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking at the UNSC open debate on 'the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security: the Rule of Law among Nations,' Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj said, "Rule of Law is the foundational edifice of modern nation States. This foundation is underpinned by the UN Charter, where the principle of the sovereign equality of States is the basis for our collective actions. In the face of interconnected challenges that we face today, the UN represents our collective recognition that only cooperative and effective multilateralism can ensure peace and stability. "

She said that the principles of multilateralism and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with principles of international law can succeed only if the interaction between States is based on rules that aspire for greater collective welfare.

Calling out for a peaceful settlement of disputes, Kamboj said, "Rule of Law necessitates that countries respect each others' sovereignty and territorial integrity, as they would expect their own sovereignty to be respected. Since the pacta sunt servanda ["agreements must be kept"] is a binding norm of the rule of law, it requires that countries must respect agreements signed with others, bilateral or multilateral, and do not take unilateral measures to undermine or nullify those very arrangements."

Underscoring the importance of the application of rule of law, the Indian envoy said, "the international level should protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States from aggression, including terrorism, and including cross border terrorism. States that use cross-border terror to serve narrow political purposes must be held accountable. This is only feasible when all countries stand together against common threats such as terrorism and do not engage in double standards for political expediency."

Kamboj also underlined the strengthening of the rule of law and advised reforming international institutions of global governance.

"Strengthening the rule of law would also necessitate reforming international institutions of global governance, including those charged with the responsibility of maintenance of international peace and security. Debates on strengthening rule of law while holding on to anachronistic structures that lack representative legitimacy would serve little purpose in our endeavour to strengthen the rule of law," she said.

She also highlighted the purpose and relevance of multilateral organizations which is increasingly being put into question.

"We have a collective responsibility and obligation to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of the international order. Let us strive to achieve this, before it is too late," she added.

Challenges to the rule of law among nations remain on almost every front, especially regarding adherence to the Charter. This open debate gives Member States an opportunity to have a deeper discussion on how to take action, under the United Nations framework, to ensure international peace and security through the promotion of the rule of law.

The objective of the meeting was to reaffirm the meaning and role of the rule of law among nations and the common understanding that the rules to which all Member States have agreed must be observed by all.

It was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Hayashi Yoshimasa as Japan is the Chair of the Security Council this month.