New Delhi, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla paid an official visit to New York from July 14-16 to participate in high level meetings of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which was held under the Presidency of France for July 2021.
On July15, the Foreign Secretary participated in the High Level Security Council briefing on the “Situation in Libya” chaired by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian. In his intervention, Foreign Secretary emphasised the importance of holding elections in Libya as scheduled on December 24 this year, the need to safeguard the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Libya and the importance of full implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
He also expressed concern at the violations of arms embargo in Libya and the need to ensure that terrorist groups and entities operating in Libya are not allowed to go unchallenged. Foreign Secretary Shringla reiterated India’s commitment to supporting Libya and the Libyan people in their endeavour to bring about lasting peace in the country and offered India’s support for providing capacity building and training assistance in mutually identified areas.
The Foreign Secretary also called on the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He congratulated Secretary General on his reappointment for a second tenure. Foreign Secretary briefed Secretary General about India’s priorities for the Security Council during its Presidency in August, namely maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.
Views were exchanged, inter alia, on regional situations, including Afghanistan and Myanmar, on climate change, International Solar Alliance, UNSC reforms and on the COVID-19 situation around the world. The Secretary General expressed solidarity with the Government and people of India in their efforts against the recent wave of COVID-19 pandemic. He appreciated the positive role India is playing in the UN Security Council as well as India’s robust contribution to UN peacekeeping. The Secretary General also wished India the best for its upcoming Presidency of the UNSC.
On the sidelines of the UNSC High Level Meeting, Foreign Secretary called on Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France and briefed him on India’s August UNSC Presidency initiatives and extended him External Affairs Minister’s invitation to attend the High Level meetings which would be chaired by India.
The Foreign Secretary met Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, US Permanent Representative to UN and held meetings with other senior officials of the United Nations, including Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under Secretary General, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA); Achim Steiner, USG & Administrator, UNDP; Ms. Maria Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to Secretary General; Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women and Mr. Courtenay Rattray, USG and High Representative for LDCs & SIDs to discuss the entire gamut of India’s engagement with the UN system and its agencies.