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Sushma Swaraj may share stage with Pak foreign minister at UN meet in New York

The senior BJP leader is likely to have a packed schedule involving meetings with an array of leaders on the sidelines of UNGA, which she will address on September 23.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2017 22:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sushma Swaraj,Pakistani foreign minister,United Nations
External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj during a 2015 session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.(Reuters File Photo)

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is likely to share stage with her Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif next week on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Swaraj and Asif are slated to come face-to-face during a group meeting of foreign ministers belonging to SAARC nations.

This is the second time since the NDA formed the central government in 2014 that the 65-year-old leader will lead the Indian delegation at the United Nations.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader is likely to have a packed schedule involving meetings with an array of leaders on the sidelines of UNGA, which she will address on September 23.

Swaraj is also scheduled to take part in meetings of the leaders of Non-aligned Movement, G4 (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and G77 group of developing nations.

“The external affairs minister is expected to hold about 20 bilateral and trilateral meetings with leaders attending the session,” external affairs ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.

Ahead of the session, India said UN reforms need to be “broad-based and all-encompassing” and the changes should not be restricted to the body’s secretariat only.

“We feel that reforms need to be much more broad based. You cannot have reform only of the secretariat. Reforms cannot side step issues related to governance of UN bodies,” India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, told reporters.

“For us, reform is broad based, it’s all encompassing. And we look to engage with all our friends and colleagues from other countries on this,” Akbaruddin said.

India is among the 120 countries which have supported the reform efforts of the UN Secretary General.

“Winds of change are blowing globally so therefore UN cannot be left aside. So, reform is a major issue in the United Nations,” Akbaruddin said.

Akbaruddin said that issues of climate change, terrorism, people centric migration and peacekeeping are other key focus areas for India this year at the summit.

First Published: Sep 17, 2017 22:56 IST