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India takes over UN Security Council Presidency for August; to focus on maritime security, peacekeeping, counterterrorism: Here's all you need to know

10:23 AM Aug 01, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

India on Sunday took over the Presidency of the UN Security Council. India is set to host signature events in three major areas of maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism during the month.

"It is a singular honour for us to be presiding over the Security Council the same month when we are celebrating our 75th Independence Day," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said in a video message on the eve of India assuming the rotating Presidency of the powerful 15-nation UN body.

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Meanwhile, Russia on Sunday congratulated India on assuming the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and said it is "truly impressed" with New Delhi's agenda, which "embraces pressing global issues" including maritime security peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

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"Congratulations on #India's taking over the #UNSC presidency! Truly impressed with the agenda, which embraces pressing global issues including maritime security, peacekeeping & counter-terrorism. Expecting fruitful and effective work. Wishing many happy returns & all the success!" Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev tweeted.

France said it is committed to working with India on strategic issues as maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

"Delighted that India is today taking over #UNSC presidency from France. We are committed to working with India on strategic issues as maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism, and upholding a rules-based, multilateral system to face today's many ongoing crises," Ambassador of France to India Emmanuel Lenain tweeted.

This is India's first presidency in the UNSC during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. The two-year tenure of India as a non-permanent member of the UNSC began on January 1, 2021.

The first working day of India's Presidency will be Monday, August 2 when Tirumurti will hold a hybrid press briefing in the UN headquarters on the Council's programme of work for the month.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti will also provide a briefing for member states of the United Nations which are non-members of the Council on its work for the month, according to a schedule released by the UN.

The August presidency will be India's first Presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. India will again preside over the Council in December next year, the last month of its two-year tenure.

During its Presidency, India will be organising high-level signature events in three major areas - maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism.

In the video message, Tirumurti said maritime security has a high priority for India "and it is important for the Security Council to take a holistic approach to this issue".

Peacekeeping is a topic "close to our hearts, given our own long and pioneering involvement" with peacekeeping, he said, adding that India will focus on how to ensure the safety of peacekeepers, especially by using better technology and how to bring perpetrators of crimes against peacekeepers to justice.

As a country that has been at the forefront in the fight against terrorism, India will continue to keep the spotlight on counterterrorism.

Tirumurti said in the last seven months of India's tenure in the Council, "we have taken a principled and forward-looking position on various issues. We have been unafraid of shouldering responsibilities. We have been proactive. We have focused on issues of our priority." "We have made efforts to bridge the different voices within the Council to ensure that the Council comes together and speaks in one voice on a variety of important issues of the day. This is what we will bring into our Presidency," he said.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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