India’s presidency of the UNSC fortified our role in world affairs

Synopsis: With the month-long UNSC presidency, India showcased our role in world affairs.

Introduction

India has just concluded its presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for August. India managed to achieve almost all of what we set out for, and also successfully handled the expected and unexpected challenges that came our way.

Initiatives of UNSC under India’s Presidency

During India’s presidency, we had 14 ‘outcome documents’, five of which were UNSC resolutions. These resolutions address the situations in Afghanistan, Somalia, the Middle East, Mali and the UN peacekeeping operations.

There were four presidential statements (PRST) including on West Africa and Sudan, and five press statements — three responding in real-time to developments in Afghanistan, including the Kabul airport terrorist attack.

Three signature events were held by India on priority issues. These include maritime security, UN peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

About the signature events

Maritime security event: It was chaired by the Prime Minister himself which saw participation from several world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was also the first Security Council (SC) meeting chaired by an Indian PM.

Event on UN peacekeeping: During this event, a resolution on Protecting the Protectors was adopted, which seeks to safeguard UN Peacekeepers. It is the first-ever resolution on accountability for crimes against UN peacekeepers and the first PRST on technology up-gradation for peacekeepers.

It was also the first UNSC resolution piloted by India in over four decades, and it had the co-sponsorship of all 15 members.

During this event, India also signed an MoU with the UN Peacekeeping Institute in Entebbe, Uganda.

Event on counter-terrorism: In this event, the threat posed by the Islamic State/Daesh. The UNSC members agreed on a press statement highlighting, inter alia, threats posed by the IS-Khorasan and other regional groups to Asia and parts of Africa.

About the developments in Afghanistan

This was the important highlight of India’s presidency at UNSC. The UNSC held three meetings on it, issued three press statements and adopted one resolution(UNSC Resolution 2593).

Read more: About the UNSC Resolution 2593 and Noble intentions: About the UNSC resolution on Taliban
Other initiatives of UNSC under India’s Presidency

Regarding Palestine: India’s Foreign secretary chaired a session on the Palestine Question, which has been a priority focus of the UNSC’s work.

Africa-related issues: An unscheduled meeting on Ethiopia has occurred. Apart from that, Resolutions on the UN assistance mission in Somalia and sanctions on Mali were also adopted.

There is no doubt that our presidency of the UNSC has once again reinforced the fact that India continues to play an important role in world affairs. Even, All UNSC members praised India’s presidency and acknowledged the value added by India in building bridges in the midst of polarised UNSC dynamics. This also strengthens India’s claim for permanent membership.

Source: This post is based on the article “India’s presidency of the UNSC fortified our role in world affairs” published in Livemint on 9th September 2021.

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