Sushma Swaraj in NY: Things to watch out for in 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Sushma Swaraj in NY: Things to watch out for in 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly

World leaders, including external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, have gathered in New York for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly session.

world Updated: Sep 18, 2017 14:15 IST
United Nations General Assembly president Miroslav Lajcak opens the 72nd regular session of the UN General Assembly.
United Nations General Assembly president Miroslav Lajcak opens the 72nd regular session of the UN General Assembly.(AP Photo)

World leaders, including external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, have gathered in New York for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly session.

From US President Donald Trump’s maiden UN address to India’s call for a permanent Security Council seat, here’s all you need to know about the institution which work towards world peace:

United Nations General Assembly

UNGA is one of the six primary arms of the United Nations, which was instituted when a charter was signed by 50 nations led by Britain, the United States, Soviet Union and China after the World War 2.

It is the only arm of the UN in which all 193 member states have one vote and one representation. It covers a wide array of issues such as development, security and international law, passes non-binding resolutions and takes budgetary decisions.

Every year, the UNGA convenes in September at the General Assembly Hall in New York where world leaders deliver rousing speeches through the week. The UNGA assembled on September 12 this year.

India’s engagements

Swaraj, who arrived in New York on Monday, will kick off her official engagement with a trilateral meeting with her American and Japanese counterparts, Rex Tillerson and Taro Kono. She will address the UNGA on September 23.

The Indo-US-Japan meeting is aimed at enhancing cooperation between the three nations and assumes significance amid Chinese show of strength in the region.

Swaraj’s week-long stay in the US will focus on these issues: climate change, terrorism, people-centric migration and peacekeeping. She will take part in a meeting chaired by Trump to discuss terrorism on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA session.

The external affairs minister is likely to press for banning Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar and a permanent seat for India at the UN Security Council, a NDTV report said.

Things to watch out for

• Trump’s maiden UN address

The United Nations is just a 20 minute stroll away from Trump Tower, but it is an unfamiliar world for the tough-talking US President.

Donald Trump makes his maiden address to the United Nations on Tuesday, a spectacle closely watched at home and around the world, with the potential to move armies, markets and polls.

The US President has previously during his campaign trashed the United Nations as “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”.

• Climate change

The Trump administration’s stand on withdrawing from the Paris climate deal remains unclear. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday the US was seeking “ways in which we can work with partners in the Paris climate accord”.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark pact, signed by nearly 200 countries, was widely criticised. Trump had said in June the ‘draconian’ pact had impinged on American sovereignty and unfairly favoured China and India.

When European environment officials suggested over the weekend that the United States might be ready to re-engage with the pact, the White House said that its position was unchanged, and that it could stay only if more “favourable” terms were achieved.

• North Korea, Rohingya crisis, terrorism

No official event addressing North Korea’s relentless campaign to develop nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States is on the UN agenda, but it is expected to be the No. 1 issue for most leaders.

Not far behind will be the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, victims of what UN chief Antonio Guterres calls a campaign of ethnic cleansing that has driven nearly 400,000 to flee to Bangladesh in the past three weeks.

Several terrorism-related events are also on the agenda. A side event on Wednesday on “Preventing Terrorist Use of the Internet” will be attended by senior representatives of major social media companies.