India to focus on UNSC reform, terrorism, peacekeeping at UNGA

Early reform of the UN Security Council, terrorism and peacekeeping will be among the main issues that India will pursue during the world body's General Assembly session, Indian Ambassador to the UN has said.

New York: Early reform of the UN Security Council, terrorism and peacekeeping will be among the main issues that India will pursue during the world body's General Assembly session, Indian Ambassador to the UN has said.

Highlighting the broad areas that will occupy India's attention during the 69th session of the UN's 193-member body, Asoke Mukerji said his delegation will focus on the "unfinished business of 2005 (which is) the early reform of the UN Security Council."

He said the last seven rounds of discussions have "thrown up enough material" for UN member states to now begin negotiating the early reform of the Security Council on the basis of a negotiation text.

Briefing reporters here yesterday ahead of the start of the high-level General Debate on September 24, Mukerji said India has sought that when the next round of Inter- governmental negotiations resume in November, "it should resume on the basis of a negotiation text which would provide all delegations a framework in which to demonstrate their flexibility and to engage in give and take of negotiations.

"The Intergovernmental Negotiations on UNSC reform have continued to remain deadlocked because of the absence of text. India will press for a text-based process of negotiations in the IGN whose 11th round will commence in the 69th General Assembly," Mukerji said.

"Without a text it is not possible for us to demonstrate any constructive approach on this subject," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the UN General Assembly on September 27. Mukerji did not give details of the other engagements of Modi.

On terrorism, India will continue to strive for progress towards finalisation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

"India will also initiate action for the listing of terrorists of security concern to us by the al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committees of the UN Security Council. On September 25, the Council would adopt a resolution on counter-terrorism, an area which has been important for India for the last three decades," Mukerji said.

"India is one of the countries suffering from terrorism and we are happy that finally the impact of foreign terrorist fighters on peace and stability is being recognised specifically by the UN," he said.

Mukerji said peacekeeping is another area where India will actively engage in.India is the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping with 170,000 Indian soldiers having participated in 43 missions.

Mukerji said Indian soldiers are present in the "hot spots of the global crisis today. We believe strongly that the views of a country that contributes troops such as India should be taken into account by the Security Council when they formulate the mandate for peacekeeping."

He said peacekeeping is very important in the South Asian region as there are areas undergoing tremendous political and social upheaval.

"New approaches of using peacekeeping as a solution to such upheaval will not be sustainable," he added.

With several Indian peacekeepers being killed in the line of duty, Mukerji said India has been asking the UNSC to take steps to investigate and prosecute those who target peacekeepers.

Another main area that India will focus on is the 70th anniversary summit of the United Nations to be held next year 2015 for which the ongoing UNGA session would serve as the preparatory session.

"It is our expectation that we do have a significant outcome document to mark the 70th Anniversary session of the UN," he said adding that the outcome document would provide a political framework for the adoption of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

"The main focus of the post-2015 development agenda for India and a large number of developing countries is eradication of poverty," the Indian envoy said.

The other focus area for India will be participating in the review of how the UN is able to manage the use of Information and Communication Technology for development, he said.

In June next year, the UN General Assembly will be preparing a preparatory process for the review of the Tunis agenda, which was adopted about a decade ago. The focus will be to bridge the digital divide between developing and developed countries as well as women and men, he added.

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