Modi first Indian PM to preside over UN Security Council meeting: Syed Akbaruddin
In a first for India after independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over a meeting during New Delhi's presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India's former envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said on Sunday.
PM Modi is expected to preside over the meeting of the UN Security Council on August 9.
In over 75 years, this is the first time Indian political leadership has invested in presiding over an event of the 15-member UN body, the former permanent representative of India to the UN said.
"A first in the making… With India as President of @UN Security Council in August, an Indian Prime Minister may perhaps preside, albeit virtually, a Council meeting for 1st time on 9 August 2021," Akbaruddin said on Twitter and shared a picture of PM Modi's last visit to the UN from 2019.
Akbaruddin also confirmed the development to news agency PTI and said, "Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister, who has decided to preside over a meeting of the United Nation Security Council."
"It shows that leadership wants to lead from the front. It also shows that India and its political leadership are invested in our foreign policy ventures," said Akbaruddin, who joined Kautilya School of Public Policy as its dean in June.
This comes on the day India assumed the rotating presidency of the UNSC. The country will be hosting signature events related to maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism during the month.
Several high-level meetings will be chaired by India's top officials including the Prime Minister, external affairs minister S Jaishankar and foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
"This is our eighth stint on the UNSC yet in the 75 years, this is the first time that our political leadership has invested in presiding over an event of the security council," Akbaruddin told PTI.
"Although this is a virtual meeting, it's still a first meeting of the sort for us. It is historic. The last time an Indian PM was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 when he attended a UNSC meeting," he added.
India took over the presidency of the UNSC from France for the month of August. Ambassador of India to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti thanked French Permanent Representative to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere, for steering the UN Security Council for the month of July.