Swaraj discusses growing global concerns on terrorism with Ban Ki-moon

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had a very fruitful discussion with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on a wide array of issues including matters relating to climate change and environment and the growing global concerns on terrorism.

ANI| Last Updated: Jan 12, 2015, 23:45 PM IST

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had a very fruitful discussion with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on a wide array of issues including matters relating to climate change and environment and the growing global concerns on terrorism.

"Following his meeting yesterday with the Prime Minister, today the UN Secretary General had a very extensive discussion with the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. India engages with the United Nations on a wide array of issues and, therefore, the discussions covered several topics," said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

"Among these were the United Nations Peace Keeping operations, matter relating to climate change and environment, growing global concerns on terrorism, the United Nations Security Council reform and the United Nations Development Agenda," he added.

Talking further, Akbaruddin said India has been traditionally amongst the largest contributors to peace keeping operations.

"Currently, we have more than 8000 Indian personnel; these are troops, officers, observers, police personnel combined deployed in ten of the 16 United Nations peace keeping operations," said Akbaruddin.

"And therefore there was a fairly detailed discussion about the evolving doctrine of the United Nations on peace keeping," he added.

Akbaruddin emphasized that the External Affairs Minister did raise India's views relating to the role that troop contributing countries should have in the UN Peace Keeping mandates.

"Because after all their troops are the ones which are protecting the peace, their troops are the ones which lay down their lives in the services of the United Nations and right now the mechanism is fairly frail in terms of contribution to the mandate of the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations by the troop contributing countries," said Akbaruddin.

"The Secretary General did acknowledge this and said that he has set up a group to review this," he added

Akbaruddin further said the second area of discussion was the forthcoming conference on Climate Change in Paris towards the end of the year.

"The Secretary General outlined that it was a priority for him that all Member States focus on this and try to get an agreement because negotiations have gone on for too long. The External Affairs Minister in her response outlined in great detail the sort of things that we are taking, we have started or ventured upon in terms of our own commitment to ensuring that our development is sustainable," said Akbaruddin.

"For example, he mentioned that we have increased by five-fold. Our renewal energy's target, it was 20000 mega watts by 2022. It is now planned to be 100,000 megawatts by 2022, so it s a five-fold increase," he added.

The MEA spokesperson further said Swaraj also explained the recent attempts or efforts between India and its neighbouring countries for hydropower, which is again low carbon form of energy, electricity generation through hydro-power.

"And she explained movement that was there between India and Nepal, also the efforts that we are making to speed up the projects between India and Bhutan. So even in regional framework we are aware of the importance of having low carbon footprint in terms of our energy production," he added.

The MEA spokesperson further said that there was a discussion on the Clean Ganga project.

"There was also a response, also included what we are doing in terms of cleaning the environment including the Clean Ganga project and how it would benefit large number of people along the Ganges more than 40 or so big towns and 6000 villages, 2400 kms etc.," said Akbaruddin.

"So, the idea was that there is a lot of effort being made by the Government of India in terms of being responsive to global environmental concerns and concerns regarding climate change because we see this as something of benefit for India itself," he added.

Akbaruddin said there was also a discussion on the UN Security Council Reforms.

"This was a discussion which covered a lot of ground, which helped us to understands the UN's perspective on a lot of things and it indicates our engagement on a global stage on a variety of issues which are not only relating to one area but on multiple areas that is peace and security, development, climate change, reform and that's way we are on in terms of our discussions with the United Nations on all these areas," he added.