LONDON, March 13 (PTI) — The British government has made its first major pledge to support UN Security Council reform and India’s permanent membership in it as part of an updated defense and foreign policy review to be tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The 2023 Integrated Review Update: Responding to a More Controversial and Turbulent World builds on the 2021 Review (IR2021), which had a so-called Indo-Pacific tilt at its core. In the update, the government sees the Indo-Pacific as no longer just a tilt, but a permanent pillar of UK foreign policy as it also works towards a free trade agreement (FTA) with India.
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“After IR2021, the UK will support reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – and welcome Brazil, India, Japan and Germany as permanent members,” read the updated commentary.
Downing Street noted that this marked an important policy evolution, as Foreign Secretary James Cleverly delivered the Integrated Review Update 2023 (IR2023) to the House of Commons.
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“In the UN Security Council, which is the first time we’ve included it in a UK policy document and brought it to Parliament, we will support UN Security Council reform. This is an evolution of the UK’s position. We also say we support African permanent membership,” said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s foreign affairs spokesman told PTI at a press conference in Downing Street.
In terms of India, IR2023 is further committed to establishing a bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, implementing the UK-India 2030 roadmap, supporting India as the G20 chair, advancing free trade agreement negotiations, strengthening defense and security partnerships, advancing technological cooperation, and leading maritime security India Pillars of the Indo-Pacific Initiative.
“India is a very important priority relationship for us. We are very clear that we will continue to develop our 2030 road map and work towards free trade agreements. We very much welcome the increased depth of the relationship over the past few years and clearly develop it As part of our wider gesture,” a Downing Street spokesman said.
While the UK’s foreign policy focus has generally remained the same, namely working with like-minded democracies, there is a clear pragmatism in engaging in wider dialogue to help maintain an open and stable international order.
“China presents an epochal challenge to the type of international order we want to see, both in terms of security and values — so our approach must evolve.
“We will work with our partners to engage Beijing on issues like climate change. But where the Chinese Communist Party seeks to coerce or create dependence, we will work closely with other countries to fight back.”
Post-Brexit relations with Europe are now closer to those in the Indo-Pacific region and therefore more domestically focused.
“Euro-Atlantic security and prosperity will remain our core priority, fueled by the revitalization of our European relationship. But this cannot be separated from our wider neighbors on the continent’s fringes and a free and open Indo-Pacific Come. We will deepen our relationship in support of sustainable development and poverty reduction, and address shared challenges, including climate change,” the review reiterated.
IR23 sets out a number of additional priority actions, including the creation of a new National Protective Security Service within MI5 Security to provide a wide range of UK businesses and other organisations, with instant access to expert security advice.
Funding has also been doubled for the government-wide China Capability Programme, which includes investment in Mandarin language training and diplomatic China expertise. A National Security Academy course will also be launched to strengthen the UK government’s national security capabilities.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will provide an additional £20m to the BBC World Service to ensure it can continue to deliver services in 42 languages around the world and fight disinformation.
Cleverly said: “This one-off funding will enable the BBC World Service to maintain its unrivaled position as the world’s largest international broadcaster and play a critical role in tackling harmful disinformation.”
The updated review concluded that democracies like the UK must go further to “beyond cooperation and beyond competition” leading to unstable states. It was positioned as a blueprint for meeting the challenges posed by a “difficult and dangerous” decade.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)