Union Minister S Jaishankar Heads to UN Security Council; Afghanistan and Terrorism on Agenda

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As India holds the Presidency of the UN Security Council this month, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is travelling to New York on August 18-19 and the focus will be on Afghanistan, maritime security and counter-terrorism.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, Jaishankar will fly again to North America for bilateral visits to Mexico, Panama and Guyana later this month after returning from UNSC. However, the dates are still being worked out. Guyana has Indian origin diaspora and has close ties with New Delhi.

The report also said India is deciding to make maximum contribution to the UNSC as its non-permanent member and External Affairs Minister has been keeping constant touch with the international body through its mission in New York.

India joined the UNSC in January 2021 for a two-year term as one of the 10 rotating non-permanent members. India will decide the agenda of the UN’s highest decision-making body whose resolutions and directives are binding on all member states.

India is also the chair of the 1267 sanctions committee, which has the mandate to declare UN designated global terrorists.

The focus of Jaishankar’s UN visit is likely to be Afghanistan, terrorism and maritime security with events in both South China Sea and Persian Gulf in focus as reports of irregulars seizing cargo vessels in the gulf coming in.

The report adds that the key issue on the agenda will be UNSC role in the stability of Afghanistan with “Pakistan supported Pashtun insurgent force” Taliban trying to take over the country.

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

“A first in the making… With India as President of @UN Security Council in August, an Indian Prime Minister may perhaps preside, albeit virtually, a Council meeting for 1st time on 9 August 2021,” India’s former permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said on Twitter.

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