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India’s One Month UNSC Presidency Ends With Concrete Results On Global Issues

India’s month-long presidency of the influential UN Security Council ended with concrete results on important global issues, including a robust resolution on the situation in Afghanistan that represented India’s concerns and requested that Afghan land not be used to threaten or harbour terrorists.

India, which is a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Security Council serving a two-year term, assumed the rotating Presidency of the UN body for the month of August. On the penultimate day of India’s Presidency of the Security Council for August, the Council adopted the first resolution on the situation in Afghanistan, following the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul.

“As we wind down our Presidency of UN #SecurityCouncil, we thank all colleagues in #UNSC for their tremendous support to make our Presidency a success with many substantive outcomes,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti tweeted on Tuesday. “I & @IndiaUNNewYork wish incoming Presidency @irishmissionun & Amb Geraldine Nason all success,” he said.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield congratulated India for a successful presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August. “Your leadership and resilience saw us through many challenging issues — especially the situation in Afghanistan, she said.” “Thanks to @IndiaUNNewYork for a successful presidency during August. Highlights included: meeting on maritime security chaired by PM @narendramodi; and focus on peacekeeping & technology, and on counter-terrorism. This can only mean 1 thing we’re up next!” Ireland’s mission to the UN said.

The UNSC meeting on Afghanistan, which adopted the resolution, was headed by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. I was especially pleased to preside over the passage of today’s crucial resolution on Afghanistan, which clearly states that Afghan land should not be used to threaten or attack any country, nor to conceal, train, or organise or finance terrorist acts.

“It underlines terrorist individuals and entities designated by UN Security Council (resolution) 1267. This is of direct importance to India,” Shringla said on Monday. The Council had three sessions on Afghanistan under India’s presidency, and released three press statements on August 3, 16, and 27, the last of which strongly condemned the “deplorable attacks” near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 26.

The Council issued a strong resolution on Afghanistan on the penultimate day of India’s Presidency, which “demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country, to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist acts, and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban’s relevant commitments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over a high-level signature event on maritime security, which Tirumurti described as “path-breaking” in many aspects because it was the first time the Prime Minister of India convened the Security Council. This was the first time a complete debate on the holistic idea of maritime security had taken place. A Presidential Statement on Maritime Security was also issued, which was the first Presidential Statement on the subject.

The Presidential Statement addresses key issues in Maritime Security, such as the role of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) in Maritime Security, freedom of navigation, terrorism, particularly at sea, such as the Mumbai attacks, trafficking in arms, drugs, and people, the role of regional and sub-regional organisations in this context, and piracy, according to Tirumurti.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar presided over two other landmark events on August 18 and 19, one on peacekeeping and technology and the other on ISIL/Da’esh. Tirumurti had stated that the peacekeeping event demonstrated India’s strong dedication to the cause, as well as representing our long history in this field.

India and the United Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the UN’s Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative and the UN C4ISR Academy. He had also mentioned that India has authored a resolution on peacekeeping for the first time, focusing on ensuring accountability for crimes against peacekeepers, which he said was a historic first for India. The resolution was sponsored by 80 member states, including all 15 members of the Security Council, which is not often seen in the Security Council,” Tirumurti had said.

“Also for the first time, the Security Council held an Open Debate focused exclusively on how technology can aid in peacekeeping and for the first time, the Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement on the topic of technology and peacekeeping, he had said. Following a ministerial-level briefing on ISIL/Da’esh on August 19, the Council unanimously issued a press statement in which it reiterated its strong condemnation of all acts of terrorism and expressed concern that ISIL (Da’esh) might regain the ability to launch or orchestrate international terrorist attacks.

The Council successfully guided debates on many peace and security concerns on its agenda, including Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, and the Middle East Peace Process, under India’s chairmanship. Several UN member nations took to Twitter to thank India for leading the Security Council this month.

“Brazil extends its warm congratulations to the whole team of @IndiaUNNewYork our partner in BRICS and IBSA for presiding over the @UN Security Council in a specially critical month. As an incoming Council member, we look forward to working together next year,” Brazil’s Mission to the UN said. Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani and UAE Mission to the UN congratulated India for the successful presidency of the UNSC during August.

“Switzerland Mission at the UN thanked @ambtstirumurti for today’s wrap up of a successful #UNSC presidency. This month underscored the need to Respect #HumanRights & #IHL in Afghanistan, Improve measures to protect #peacekeepers, Strengthen int’l response to humanitarian crises. “Thank you India for your dedicated leadership & spirit of transparency as President of the #SecurityCouncil in August. In addition to an interesting agenda & many adoptions, #NorwayUNSC will certainly miss the tasty social part of your programme,” Norway Mission to the UN said.

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