India takes over UNSC presidency, key focus on maritime security, peacekeeping, counterterrorism

India said it will be focusing mainly on maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism during its presidency of the powerful 15-nation UN security body. 

Created On: Aug 2, 2021 13:03 ISTModified On: Aug 2, 2021 13:04 IST

India assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 1, 2021. India took over the rotational presidency of the 15-nation UNSC from France.

Indian Ambassador to United Nations, TS Tirumurti thanked France Permanent Representative to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere, for steering the UN Security Council for July month. 

This is India's first UNSC presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. India began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 1, 2021. India had last assumed UNSC presidency ten years ago.  

India UNSC Presidency: Key Focus Areas

India said it will be focusing mainly on maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism during its presidency of the powerful 15-nation UN security body. 

India's Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said in a video message that India will be organizing signature events in three key areas -maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism.

1. Counterterrorism agenda

•TS Tirumurti said that India, as a country that has been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism, will continue to keep the spotlight on counter-terrorism.

•He said that India hopes to keep the spotlight on the Secretary-General's report on the Islamic State (IS) terrorists.

•He continued by saying that India has never failed to highlight the manifestations of terrorist activities across the world, especially now for example in Africa, where it is increasing. "So we hope to discuss the Secretary General's report on ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and Daesh (ISIS) and keep the spotlight on this matter," he explained. 

2. Maritime Security 

•Speaking on the maritime security agenda, TS Tirumurti said that maritime security discussion is a first, as maritime security has always received a very high priority in India's foreign policy.

•He said that India believes it is time for the UN Security Council to take a holistic approach to the issue of maritime security, that safeguards common prosperity and other security interest.

3. Peacekeeping 

•India will mainly focus on ensuring the safety of the peacekeepers by using better technology. It will also focus on how to bring perpetrators of crimes against peacekeepers to justice. 

•TS Tirumurti said "India is strongly advocating for proactive measures to what we call as to protect the protectors."

Russia, France congratulate India on UNSC presidency

Russia and France congratulated India on taking over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 1, 2021.

Russia said that it is "truly impressed" with India's agenda for its presidency, as it "embraces pressing global issues" including maritime security peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

France said that it is committed to working with India on strategic issues such as maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

Significance

The UNSC presidency means India has the power to decide the UNSC agenda for August.  India will focus on the themes of maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism and preside over three high-level signature events on these issues.

This is India's eighth term in the UN Security Council. India's first working day was August 2, 2021 when TS Tirumurti held a hybrid press briefing in the UN headquarters on the Council's programme of work for the month. 

It has been seven months since India began its UNSC term. India will again preside over the Council in December 2022, the last month of its two-year tenure.

PM Modi to be first Indian PM to preside over UNSC meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting during India's UNSC presidency. This was informed by India's former envoy to UN Syed Akbaruddin.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and foreign secretary Harsh Shringla will also chair high-level meetings on topics of global importance during India's UNSC presidency term. 

The last time an Indian PM was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao who had attended a UNSC meeting in 1992.

 

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