EAM Jaishankar meets UN leadership, discusses India’s G20 Presidency, UNSC reforms

PTI, Sep 26, 2023, 8:11 AM IST

Image source: X / @DrSJaishankar

United Nations: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with the top UN leadership here and discussed India’s G20 Presidency, regional issues and global challenges, sustainable development goals and Security Council reforms.

A day before he addresses the General Debate at the ongoing high-level United Nations General Assembly session, Jaishankar met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the 78th session of the General Assembly Dennis Francis on Monday at the headquarters of the world organisation.

He also met with the United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner.

Jaishankar said it was a ”pleasure” to meet with Guterres and that he discussed ”how India’s G20 Presidency has contributed to strengthening” the UN’s sustainable development agenda.

”We have coordinated closely in this regard over the last year,” Jaishankar said in a tweet, adding that he appreciated Guterres’ strong commitment to reforming international financial institutions.

In a readout of the meeting issued by the UN spokesperson’s office, Guterres ”expressed appreciation for India’s cooperation with the UN and its leadership of the G20”.

Guterres and Jaishankar also ”discussed the situations in Afghanistan, Myanmar, and other global challenges”, according to the readout.

The UN secretary-general attended the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10 held under India’s Presidency of the grouping.

Before his meeting with Guterres, Jaishankar met Francis and welcomed his appreciation of the outcomes of India’s G20 Presidency.

”Confident that it would contribute to the UN General Assembly’s discourse and deliberations. Agreed on the importance of reforming multilateralism and giving the Global South its due on crucial issues of our times,” Jaishankar said.

In a post on ‘X’, Francis said he was ”delighted” to meet Jaishankar and congratulated him on India’s ”successful G20 Chairmanship, especially on India’s unwavering advocacy in support of the Global South”.

Francis added that he discussed priorities and key issues of the 78th UNGA session, including UNSC reforms and building on the outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals Summit held during the high-level week ahead of the Summit of the Future to be held in 2024.

Jaishankar also thanked Francis for his presence at the special ‘India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development’ side event. The minister hosted the event in New York on Saturday.

At the event, Francis said that India’s recent G20 Presidency marked a historic milestone being the first to usher the African Union into the group as a permanent member.

”India’s legacy of contributions serves as a guiding light – encompassing endeavours such as championing democracy, promoting women-led development, and being among the pioneers in adopting the UN’s Global Goals. Indeed, it is a matter of great honour for me to follow in the footsteps of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the first-ever female president of the General Assembly, whom India proudly entrusted to the United Nations,” Francis had said.

In his meeting with Steiner, Jaishankar appreciated the UNDP’s engagement with India’s G20 Presidency initiatives. ”Can work together to scale up Indian success stories for global benefit,” he said.

Jaishankar also had a ”warm meeting” with ”our SAGAR partner”, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Madagascar Yvette Sylla, referring to the security and growth for all in the region.

”Discussed development partnership, millets and rice production, digital delivery and defense cooperation,” he said.

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