India has said that the UN reforms need to be “broad-based and all-encompassing” and the changes should not be restricted to its Secretariat only. “We feel that reforms need to be much more broad-based. You cannot have reform only of the Secretariat. Reforms cannot side step issues related to governance of UN bodies,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told reporters at a news conference here yesterday.
His remarks came as US President Donald Trump was set to deliver his first speech to the UN General Assembly next week. “For us reform is broad based, it’s all encompassing. And we look to engage with all our friends and colleagues from other countries on this,” Akbaruddin said adding that India is in touch with countries that are pro-reforms.
Trump is scheduled to chair a high-level meeting of the UN at its headquarters in New York on September 18 on UN reforms.
India, among the 120 countries who have supported the reform efforts of the UN Secretary General will participate in the meeting. “Winds of change are blowing globally so therefore UN cannot be left aside. So, reform is a major issue in the UN,” Akbaruddin said.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive in New York today. She is expected to address the UN General Assembly on September 23.
In addition to her address to the General Assembly, she is likely to have 15-20 bilateral meetings with world leaders and attend several multilateral meetings, during her week-long stay here.
In a preview of the Swaraj’s engagements at the UN and her meetings here, Akbaruddin said that issues of climate change, terrorism, people centric migration and peacekeeping are other key focus areas for India this year.
Swaraj will also participate in a special panel of selected countries by the UN Secretary General on climate action, he said.
Part of Swaraj’s interaction would be a focus on how India is working with other countries on global solar initiative. “Our goals are broad. They are global in nature. Some of them are inspirational. There are some of them where we are working for several years and there are some where we hope to have an outcome this year,” Akbaruddin said.
Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said officials are working on a number of regional meetings including SAARC, BRICS, G-77 and G-4. “We are also working on several bilateral and tri-lateral meetings,” he said.