New York, Sept 20: India’s engagement and outreach at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, set to begin here next week, is unprecedented and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the world organisation will result in a concrete, tangible, action-oriented outcomes, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin has said.
Akbaruddin, briefing reporters yesterday at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN on India’s priorities and engagements at the United Nations during the high-level session said the extent of India’s outreach at the General Assembly this year is unprecedented.
He said a total of over 75 Heads of State and Foreign Ministers will be meeting with Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan during the week across various platforms.
These meetings will not be pull-asides or brush-asides but would be events where either the Prime Minister and his counterparts or the External Affairs Minister and his counterparts will engage in the same room, discussing substantive issues for at least 30 minutes.
”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,” Akbaruddin said. He underscored that there is willingness of a large group of countries to engage with India together.
”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 said adding that all the engagements are very action-oriented.”
”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.”
Modi, who will be addressing the General Debate for the first time in five years, has a packed bilateral and multilateral agenda beginning 23 September till 27 September. In all, he will be delivering nine key speeches at high-level summits and plurilateral engagements.