External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday met the leaders of a group working for Security Council reform on Friday to reinvigorate their cause.
The 42-member group of developing countries, known as L.69 after the original resolution on Council reforms, met on the theme of “Reinvigorating Multilateralism: A call to Action for Comprehensive Security Council Reform” amid calls at the high-level General Assembly meeting to make the highest UN body more relevant to the contemporary world.
Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting: “The Global South is working together towards this goal”, referring to the developing countries that dominate the Southern hemisphere.
He started the day by meeting with Ralph Gonsalves, the President of the Caribbean nation of St Vincent and Grenadines.
The Indian minister tweeted: “Appreciate his enormous wisdom on global developments. Received it in the form of his new book: ‘A time of Respair’.
Gonsalves presented him with the book that speaks of the hopes of rebuilding after the Covid pandemic and natural disasters.
The highlight of Jaishankar’s morning was the participation at the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Ministers Penny Wong of Australia and Yoshimasa Hayashi of Japan.
The ministers decided to meet every year on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting and signed a pact on partnering on humanitarian and disaster relief.
On Thursday, Jaishankar met Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who formally conveyed to the Security Council a proposal from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to create an international panel with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pope Francis to find a solution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He tweeted: “Always a pleasure to meet FM @m_ebrard of Mexico. Took positive note of the progress in our bilateral cooperation. Discussed the Ukraine conflict and the need for a cessation of hostilities. India and Mexico are strong partners in the UN Security Council”.
He met Hayashi, whose country will take an Asian slot on the Security Council next year after India ends its term this year-end and discussed the work of the Counciil.
Jaishankar tweeted that he had “useful exchange of views on Ukraine and UN reform” with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
He thanked Moldova’s Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu for his country’s help during “Operation Ganga” to rescue Indians, mostly students, trapped in Ukraine when Russia invaded it, he tweeted.
Popescu tweeted, “Had a positive discussion with my Indian counterpart @DrSJaishankar. We share the ambition to expand cooperation between our countries; boost trade and business links; attract Indian investment and know-how to #Moldova; and encourage closer people-to-people contacts”.
Jaishankar also had an impromptu meeting with Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Julio Cesar Arriola.
The high-level General Assembly meeting that brings together leaders from most of the 193 members of the UN provides an opportunity for holding various meetings.
Sanjay Verma, External Affairs Ministry’s Secretary West, represented India at several of them on Thursday.
At a ministerial meeting of Groups of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, he tweeted that he “called upon the international community to ensure the right to justice for the victims of cross-border terrorist attacks including 26/11 Mumbai attacks”.
Verma tweeted that he “reaffirmed India’s historic and unwavering commitment to peaceful resolution of the #Palestine question” at the ministerial meeting of the UNRWA, the relief and works organisation for Palestine.
At the 21st Meeting of foreign ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries, he tweeted that he shared India’s assistance to those countries in the region and “called for financially responsible, transparent & viable solutions” for them.
At another development-oriented meeting with the Least Developed Countries group, he tweeted that he reaffirmed India’s partnership in implementing the Doha Programme of Action adopted this year to mobilise assistance for those countries.
He added that he said unsustainable debt burdens should not be imposed on them.
Some of the meetings could be focused on granular topics.
Verma was also at a meeting of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance.
He tweeted that he “Emphasised awareness and driving innovation with stewardship, in addition to regulations, in the global action against AMR”.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at email@example.com and followed at @arulouis)