India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said, India’s engagement and outreach at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly are unique and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Nations will result in concrete, tangible, action-oriented outcomes.
The session is set to begin next week. On Thursday, Mr. Akbaruddin during the high-level session was speaking about India’s priorities and engagements at the United Nations. He was briefing reporters at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN. He said the extent of India’s outreach at the UN General Assembly this year is “unprecedented”.
A total of 75 Heads of State and Foreign Ministers will be meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan during the week across various platforms.
“And that’s what I call when I say that the breadth is unprecedented. We have never, ever had this sort of an engagement of this intensity during the General Assembly session with such a broad number of countries,” Mr. Akbaruddin said.
“In past engagements at the UN, we’ve had plurilateral meetings like the G4 or BRICS at the Ministerial level, but never have we had this engagement of India and a group of countries together, wanting to work collectively with India,” he added.
He further claimed that “It’s very different from normative talking. The UN is known to be sometimes derisively referred to as a talk shop. Talking is important. I don’t think that we should deride talk shops because jaw-jaw is better than waw-waw. So talking is important. But more important is that we need to walk the talk and …What you will see distinctively coming out of the visit this time is concrete, tangible, action-oriented outcomes that we are working on with our partners globally.”
For the first time in five years, PM Modi will be addressing the General Debate and he will be delivering nine key speeches at high-level summits and plurilateral engagements. Mr. Akbaruddin said Prime Minister Modi will “articulate his vision of how he sees India’s place in the multilateral arena, based on his past experience, but a forward looking vision.”
Over 63 countries have been invited to the Summit. After the session, PM Modi will be addressing the first-ever high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage that will launch new efforts to provide access for all to affordable and inclusive health systems.
Mr. Akbaruddin said, “The Indo-Pacific is a major area in which we are focused and these specific small-island countries are a very close partner that we are working on a whole host of issues.”