In the backdrop of a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic and flux in geopolitical hotspots, India, an emerging power and a voice of moderation, has assumed the monthly presidency of the UN Security Council, with the overarching agenda of fast-tracking reform of global governance institutions.
In its August presidency of the UNSC, India will focus on a cluster of interlinked issues, including UNSC reforms, maritime security, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and promoting a rules-based, multilateral system.
“India will always be a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue and a proponent of international law,” External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on the eve of India assuming UNSC presidency on August 1.
India took over the UNSC presidency from France on August 1. This is India’s eighth tenure in the UNSC.
“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,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T. S. Tirumurti said. In a video message, Mr Tirumurti said: “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, & UN Interim Force in Lebanon.”
The highlight of India’s presidency of UNSC will be the UNSC meeting on August 9, which will be chaired virtually by Prime Minister Modi, the first Indian leader to do so in decades.
“In 75 plus years, this is the first time our political leadership has invested in presiding over an event of UNSC. It shows that leadership wants to lead from the front. It also shows that India and its political leadership are invested in our foreign policy ventures,” said Syed Akbaruddin, India’s former Permanent Representative to UN.
“Although this is a virtual meeting, it’s still a first meeting of the sort for us. So, it is historic. The last time an Indian PM was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 when he attended a UNSC meeting,” he said.
“India’s presidency will focus the attention of the international community on the urgency of reforming and expanding the United Nations Security Council. India has all the requisite credentials to be a permanent member of the UNSC,” said Manish Chand, well-known foreign affairs analyst and President, Centre for Global India Insights, a think tank focused on decoding global geopolitics and mapping India’s ascent on the world stage.
This is India’s first presidency in the UNSC during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. The two-year tenure of India as a non-permanent member of the UNSC began on January 1, 2021.
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