Monday Aug 02 2021

'Will be watchful, but not concerned': Munir Akram as India assumes UNSC presidency

Will be watchful, but not concerned: Munir Akram as India assumes UNSC presidency

  • Pakistan ‘watchful, but not concerned’ as India assumes UNSC presidency for August.
  • Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri says Pakistan hopes that “India will abide by relevant rules and norms governing conduct of Security Council presidency”.
  • India took over presidency from France Sunday according to system rotation in alphabetical order of member states’ official names in English.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram says the country will be "watchful, but not concerned" over India assuming presidency of the United Nations Security Council for August.

India is set to organise three high-level meetings focusing on maritime security, counter-terrorism and promotion of multilateralism, according to diplomatic sources.

India took over the presidency from France on Sunday according to the system rotation in alphabetical order of the member states’ official names in English.

Read more: India does not qualify for seat in UNSC, says Pakistan UN envoy Munir Akram

The South Asian nation began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 1, this year. This will be India’s first presidency during its 2021-22 tenure.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself virtually preside over the 15-member Council meeting on “Maintenance of international peace and security: Enhancing maritime security — A case for international cooperation”, in which member states will discuss coordination to tackle maritime crime and security issues like piracy, drug trafficking, etc.

It is possible that at the behest of its western friends, India may also raise issues related to the South China sea, but in that case the Chinese envoy is expected to give a strong response.

India will also organise a minister-level meeting titled, ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts’ at the end of August.

Diplomatic observers expect India to push its oft-repeated narrative of being a victim of terrorism and may even mention Pakistan. If it does, Pakistan will be ready with its response with a written statement, as allowed to non-members.

Read more: Pakistan urges India to adhere to rules as UNSC president

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri also said that Pakistan hopes that “India will abide by the relevant rules and norms governing the conduct of the Security Council Presidency”.

In view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, observers believe the issue may be raised in the Security Council as well. 

The Taliban have gained a lot of ground as US and NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan.

On multilateralism, India, among other elements, is expected to highlight its bid for permanent membership of the UNSC in the context of reform of the 15-member body.

Pakistan Ambassador Akram said the country will be watchful and take steps so that that India does not compromise its positions on UN reform, Afghanistan and terrorism.