United Nations, Pakistan, Pak

India president of UNSC for August; terror, maritime security on agenda

India assumed the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of August on Sunday. Maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism will be on the agenda during the country’s monthlong presidency.

India joined the UNSC in January 2021 for a two-year term as one of the 10 rotating non-permanent members.

As part of its new role as president of the UNSC – a position held by all 15 members, five permanent and 10 non-permanent, in rotation – India will decide the agenda of the UN’s highest decision-making body. India will also coordinate important meetings on a range of issues during August.

“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,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

“The Security Council will also have on its agenda several important meetings including Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and the Middle East. Security Council will also be adopting important resolutions on Somalia, Mali, and UN Interim Force in Lebanon,” T.S. Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, said in a video message on Saturday.

“It is a singular honour for us to be presiding over the Security Council the same month when we are celebrating our 75th Independence Day,” Tirumurti said.

Referring to the close coordination with UNSC permanent member France during the month of July, Tirumurti said: “India and France enjoy historical and close relations. I thank France for all the support which they’ve given us during our stint in the Security Council.”

Apart from meeting on maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism, India will also organise an event in memory of peacekeepers. India, along with Pakistan and Bangladesh, is one of the top contributors to UN peacekeeping operations around the world.

“A first in the making… With India as President of @UN Security Council in August, an Indian Prime Minister may perhaps preside, albeit virtually, a Council meeting for 1st time on 9 August 2021,” India’s former permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

Ahead of India assuming presidency, Pakistan on Saturday said it hoped that New Delhi would follow international rules and norms. “We hope that India will abide by the relevant rules and norms governing the conduct of the Security Council Presidency,” a foreign office spokesperson said.

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