India Takes Over UNSC Presidency: Focus on Maritime Security, Counter-Terrorism

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As India took over the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from France on 1 August, TS Tirumurti, Indian Ambassador to the UN, said that the three key focus areas will be on maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism.

India has held the presidency seven times in the past.

Tirumati added, "India is very happy to take over as President of UNSC for this month. This is our 8th tenure. This stint gives us an opportunity to play an important role yet again in shaping some of the important challenges on international peace and security," news agency ANI reported.

"“As we take over UNSC Presidency for August, we 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."" - S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

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"Although this is a virtual meeting, it's still a first meeting of the sort for us. So, it is historic. 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," India's former envoy to UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said.

""Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM who has decided to preside over a meeting of UNSC. This is our eighth stint on the UNSC."" - Syed Akbaruddin, India's Former Envoy to UNNeed Diplomats Who Are Capable, Alert, and Nimble: Shashi Tharoor

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who was a career official at the UN for over 20 years, said that India has a good team at the United Nations and expressed hope that 'our people will do a good job and make India proud', ANI reported.

""Whatever happens, we have to have diplomats who are capable, alert, and nimble enough to cope with it, to respond to it, and to give the world a certain leadership in the matter. I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes."" - Shashi Tharoor, as quoted by ANI.

Speaking on India's agenda, the Congress MP said on peacekeeping, “I am glad that is a priority issue. Terrorism is something we can't avoid. Because it is something thrust upon on us."

Conflicts Have Increased in COVID Times: Tirumati

Ambassador of India to United Nations, TS Tirumurti thanked France Permanent Representative to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere, for steering the UN Security Council for the month of July. India will also be organizing a solemn event in memory of peacekeepers.

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Tirumurti apprised that the UN Security Council will also have on its agenda several important meetings including Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and the Middle East. UN Security Council will also be adopting important resolutions on Somalia, Mali, and UN Interim Force in Lebanon, he added.

He was further quoted as saying, "Conflicts have increased in COVID times, putting considerable pressure on UN Peacekeepers and resources. In this scenario, India's priority in UN, particularly in UNSC, has a very clear focus on issues that are directly relevant to international community."

Tirumati gave examples of international terrorism, peacekeeping, enhancing international peace and security, sensitivity to developing country issues especially Africa and small states, reformed multilateralism, and furthering the agenda of women and human-centric development.

While Russia congratulated India saying that it is 'truly impressed with' its agenda, France said it is committed to working with India on strategic issues — maritime security and counter-terrorism.

Ahead of India's presidency, Pakistan said it hopes that New Delhi will follow international rules and norms.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly termed this India's first presidency in the UNSC as a non-permanent member. The error is regretted.)

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(With inputs from ANI)

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