India assumes UNSC August Presidency; to organize 3 key meetings
India on Sunday took over the rotational Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August. India's Presidency will be represented by Ambassador TS Tirumurti, India's Permanent Representative to the UN. Narendra Modi is also set to be the first Indian Prime Minister to preside over a meeting during India's Presidency at the UNSC. Here are more details.
India sets focus on 3 major areas
The UNSC Presidency will allow India to set the council's agenda for the month and coordinate important meetings on several key issues. Tirumati said it is a "singular honor" for India to preside over the council in August when India will mark its 75th Independence day. India will be organizing three high-level signature meetings on maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism, Tirumurti said.
India will always be voice of moderation, says MEA
Commenting on the occasion, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted, "As we take over UNSC Presidency for August, look forward to working productively with other members. India will always be a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue, and a proponent of international law."
What else is on India's agenda?
"India will also be organizing a solemn event in the memory of peacekeepers," Tirumurti said. Further, he said the council will have several important meetings on its agenda with representatives from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and the other Middle Eastern countries. The council will also adopt important resolutions on Somalia, Mali, and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, he added.
France hails India; Pakistan expresses skepticism
Tirumurti thanked France for its support throughout India's stint on the council. Both French and Russian Ambassadors to India congratulated New Delhi for the new role. While the Russian Ambassador applauded India's agenda, the French Ambassador reiterated its commitment to work with India on strategic issues. Meanwhile, Pakistan said it hopes "India will abide by the relevant rules and norms" of the UNSC Presidency.
India became non-permanent UNSC member this January
India joined the UNSC for two years this January for the eighth time as one of the 10 rotating members of the council. Apart from 10 non-permanent members, the UNSC has five permanent members: US, UK, Russia, China, and France. Notably, India has long been campaigning for a permanent seat in the UNSC and a change in the present structure of the United Nations.