Incitement to violence is antithesis of peace, tolerance and harmony: India

India has said that incitement to violence is the antithesis of peace, tolerance and harmony and the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression under a constitutional framework plays an important and positive role in strengthening democracy and combating intolerance.

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine ‘Incitement to violence leading to atrocity crimes’ on Tuesday, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador R. Ravindra also said that undoubtedly terrorism is the antithesis of all religions and cultures.

“We need to collectively combat both radicalisation and terrorism,” he said.

He said the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression under a Constitutional framework plays an important and positive role in strengthening democracy, promoting pluralism and combating intolerance.

“Incitement to violence is the antithesis of peace, tolerance and harmony. India has always believed that a society based on principles of democracy and pluralism provides an enabling environment for diverse communities to live together,” Ravindra said.

The United Nations has the responsibility to ensure that countering hate speech and discrimination should not be limited to a select few religions and communities, but should encompass all those affected.” Expressing concern that the Ukraine conflict has impacted not just Europe, but the whole world, he said the conflict is having a destabilising effect with broader regional and global implications.

“India continues to remain deeply concerned at the worsening situation in Ukraine and reiterates its call for an immediate cessation of violence and an end to hostilities. We support all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict,” especially talks between Ukraine and Russia. “As we have said earlier, we endorse the call by the Secretary-General for an independent investigation into atrocities in Ukraine,” he said.

He noted that in the wake of the conflict, increasing fuel prices and shortage of food grains and fertilizers are having a disproportionate impact, in particular on developing countries.

“In this context, it is necessary for all of us to adequately appreciate the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains. Open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity and promote discrimination,” he said.

He reiterated India’s commitment to working constructively in mitigating the adverse impact of the conflict on food security.

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