This week will be one of the busiest weeks for Indian diplomats this year. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will be in New York from September 22 to 30 for United General Assembly meeting. At the same time, officials, led by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, will be dealing with an exhaustive list of meetings and campaigns.
Krishna will hold meetings with almost 15 multilaterals, with requests coming for 48 bilateral meetings — from Guyana President to Bangladesh foreign minister.
Krishna will be part of the campaign to ensure maximum votes possible for its candidature for the non-permanent seat in United Nations Security Council — after a gap of 19 years.
The elections are being held in October this year and two-third majority (support of 128 members) is needed for an Indian victory.
A high-level meeting on Sudan, a meeting with NATO secretary general, G-4 (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany) foreign ministers’ meet to discuss the United Nations Security Council expansion are also on the cards.
While Krishna’s meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is certain, a meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is also likely.
Krishna and Qureshi will attend three multilaterals — Asian Cooperation Dialogue meeting, Commonwealth foreign ministers’ meet and SAARC foreign ministers’ meet.
Besides these, other multilateral meetings Krishna will attend include Millennium Development Goal (MDG) meet, G-15 foreign ministers’ meet, NAM coordination bureau meeting, G-77 ministerial meeting, and IBSA (India Brazil South Africa) foreign ministers’ meet.
The External Affairs Minister’s speech at the UNGA is on September 29.