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India takes over UNSC presidency for August; maritime security, counter-terrorism key priorities

“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.

Tirumurti had said that the situation in Afghanistan is of deep concern to all members of the Security Council and "we have seen that in recent days, the violence is only increasing." (Screengrab Twitter/@ambtstirumurti)

India on Sunday assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of August and is set to organise key events in three major areas of maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

“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 on Saturday. “India has just assumed the presidency of The UN Security Council on 1st August. 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,” he further added.

As part of its new role, India will decide the UN body’s agenda for the month and coordinate important meetings on a range of issues. “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,” TS Tirumurti said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took to Twitter to mark the occasion, and said that India will always be ” voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue and a proponent of international law.”

Apart from meeting on maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism, India will also be organising a solemn event in memory of peacekeepers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting of the UNSC, Former permanent representative of India to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin said.

“In 75 plus yrs, 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&its political leadership are invested in our foreign policy ventures. 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,” Syed Akbaruddin added.

Ahead of India assuming presidency, Pakistan on Saturday expressed its hope 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,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson said.

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This will be the country’s first presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. India began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 1, this year.

First published on: 01-08-2021 at 11:51:49 am
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