India to preside over UNSC after 19 years



United Nations: After a gap of 19 years, India will assume the monthly presidency of the UN Security Council on August 1.

India, which is a temporary member of the Council, last held that position in December 1992.

Besides the regular work of Council, India will organise a debate on peacekeeping.

August, however, is also what is informally called the vacation period at the UN when many diplomats take a break.

Hardeep Singh Puri, India's envoy to the UN, noted that it could be a "relaxed" month but India would have to deal with the normal agenda of the Council as well as organise the 15-member body, if a crisis was to occur.

On the normal agenda, Puri stressed that the conflicts in Sudan and Libya needed attention of the international community.

"Military operations continue in Libya," the envoy said, adding that the Council would have to observe how the situation develops during the month of Ramadan.

The thematic debate, he added, would "take stock of peacekeeping operations and how they are headed".

PTI