As India took over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a senior diplomat said the stint would give the country an opportunity to play an important role yet again in shaping some of the important challenges on international peace and security.

India’s permanent ambassador to the UN TS Tirumurti said there are three major areas on which focus would remain in August — maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

“Conflicts have increased in Covid times, putting considerable pressure on UN peacekeepers and resources. In this scenario, India’s priority in the UN, particularly in the UNSC, has a very clear focus on issues that are directly relevant to the international community,”

“For example 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,” the ambassador.

Speaking about India’s agenda for August that it can decide on as part of the rotating presidency, focus will be on the themes of maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism and preside over three high-level signature events on these issues.

“I think maritime security discussion is a first. And, you know, maritime security has always received a very high priority in our foreign policy. We believe that it is time for the Security Council to take a holistic approach to the issue of maritime security, that safeguards common prosperity and other security interest

“This is our eighth tenure. We have been a sobering and responsible voice and also been bridging different views especially when the Council (UNSC) is polarised. We have not hesitated to stand out, even when P5 (five permanent members) had a different view,” Tirumurti said.

“We’ve never failed to highlight manifestations of terrorist activities across the world, especially now, for example, in Africa where it is increasing. We hope to discuss the secretary general’s report on ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq & Levant) and keep the spotlight on this matter,” he said.

“We will be focusing on how to ensure the safety of the peacekeepers, but especially by using better technology, and also how to bring perpetrators of crimes against peacekeepers to justice. We are strongly advocating for proactive measures to what we call as protecting the protectors.”

On the agenda of counter-terrorism, India’s top envoy to the UN said, “India has consistently kept the spotlight on combating terrorism, both inside the discussions in the council and outside as well. We are not only strengthened the efforts to combat terrorism, especially for example in the financing of terrorism but we are also prevented efforts to dilute the focus on terrorism.”

This is India’s first presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and is also. India’s eight tenure so far. India will again preside over the Council in December next year, the last month of its two-year tenure.

(With ANI inputs)

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