Climate Change / Sustainable Development

No India-Pakistan meetings at UNGA this year

There is unlikely to be any India-Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session this year.

Sep 17, 2017
By Arul Louis
 
There is unlikely to be any India-Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session this year. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is skipping the assembly session and will be represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who represents India at the annual high-level session with a packed schedule of super diplomacy among an array of world leaders.
 
Pakistan's new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is attending the session and Indian spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said no formal meetings have been set between him or other Pakistani officials and Swaraj, though they will be at the SAARC and G77 meetings.
 
China will also be represented only at the foreign minister's level by Wang Yi.
 
Outlining India's goals that she will be pursuing at the session, India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said on September 16: “Our agenda is broad, is forward-looking, it is expansive, it has objectives which are global in nature, and goals which we have been pursuing for some time.”
 
The formal meetings kick off Monday with a summit convened by United States President Donald Trump to discuss reforming the UN, where Swaraj will participate on behalf of India. The formal round of addresses by the leaders of 193 member nations begins on Tuesday and Swaraj is slotted to speak on Saturday. 
 
In addition, Swaraj will also participate at several meetings of regional and specialised groups like the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Nonaligned Movement, G4 made up of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan to lobby for Security Council expansion, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and G77 group of developing nations.
 
She is scheduled to be one of the speakers at a high-level roundtable on climate change on Tuesday.
 
Previewing India's participation in the Assembly session, Akbaruddin said it is built around five pillars: UN reform, counter-terrorism, migration, climate change and peacekeeping.
 
(Arul Louis can be contacted at arullouis@spsindia.in)

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