Counter-terror, peacekeeping top priorities of India at UNSC

Issues related to counter-terrorism, UN peacekeeping operations and human rights would be the top priorities of India as it joins the powerful Security Council after a gap of 19 years.

Updated: Jan 03, 2011, 00:04 AM IST

New York: Issues related to counter-terrorism, UN peacekeeping operations and human rights would be the top priorities of India as it joins the powerful Security Council after a gap of 19 years, New Delhi`s top diplomat to the world body has said.

"One of our major pre-occupation is the issue of
terrorism. I expect that in the coming months we would have to
address that issue through the work of the Council," Hardeep
Singh Puri, India`s Permanent Representative to the United
Nations, said to a news agency in an interview.

As such India will prepare a key role in the two
committees of the Security Council the 1267 and 1373
committee, Puri said.

1267 is the Security Council Sanctions Committee
concerning al Qaeda and the Taliban and individuals and
entities associated with those organisations.

There are entities of interest to India, which New
Delhi would want to be pursued through the 1267 committee.
There is currently one seat vacant in this committee; which
has been vacated by Austria.

1373 is the Security Council Committee concerning
counter-terrorism and its financing. There is one seat vacant
in this committee, which has been vacated by Turkey.

"You can expect India to play a very active role in
that. This committee deals with issues like building
capacities, normative rules dealing with counter-terrorism and
dealing with India that is a major area of interest," the
Ambassador said.

"I am not suggesting that this is something that we
would do immediately on that is starting immediately as we
start the work of the council.

But in the coming months, we would give a very high
priority to this one," Puri said.

While counter-terrorism would be the top priority of
India during its two-year term at the UNSC, its immediate
focus is going to be the current agenda of the Security
Council 65 to 70 per cent of which essentially currently
deals with Africa.

This month itself the Security Council would be
preoccupied with Sudan, the first meeting which is expected
to be as early as January 6.

Apart from terrorism, Puri said, there are other
issues where India has traditionally pursued as part of its
interest, prominent among them being peacekeeping.

India is one of the top contributors of troops to UN
peacekeeping operations.

One of those is peacekeeping. Our contribution to
peacekeeping is one of the highest among the member states.

"We have participated in all the major peacekeeping
operations since its inception. At any given point of time, we
have 9,000 to 10,000 peacekeepers on the ground.

There are several issues related to peacekeeping.
We have been both traditional troupe contribution
country. In addition to that we find ourselves in a unique
position because we also have a unique peace and nation
building experience," he said.

PTI