India took over the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August, 2021. UN Security council have five permanent and ten non-permanent members. Non-permanent members are being chosen for two-year term. India became a non-permanent member for 2021-22 term. The presidency of UN changes after every one month between its members as per English alphabetical order. Like that, the presidency changed from France to India for August. On September, it will go to Ireland. France and Russia congratulated India and also assured to work with India on strategic issues like counter terrorism and Maritime Security.
The top priorities of India are going to be maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism. PM Narendra Modi will virtually chair the discussion on ‘‘Maintenance of international peace and security: Enhancing maritime security — A case for international cooperation’’ today on August 9. This is the first time any Indian Prime Minister is presiding over a debate at the UN Security Council. India also will organize an open debate on “Technology and Peacekeeping” at the UN Security Council. This may help to exchange views between member countries on application of technology in UN peace keeping missions. Counter terrorism is one of the major area India will focus during its presidency. On August end, India will organize a meeting on “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”. The aim of this meeting is for better coordination between FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and UN (United Nation). FATF is an international money-laundering and terror-financing watchdog.
Focus on Afghanistan
As India got presidency of the council for August, so it is India’s responsibility to fix the agenda of the council for the month. Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar requested to India for a special discussion on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. That’s why on 6th August all UNSC members met under India’s presidency to discuss about the worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
After US troops were pulled out situation in Afghanistan became worse. The number of civilian casualties in terror attack and targeted killings has increased. There were attacks on religious places of ethnic minorities. Before someday according to media reports, Sikh religious flag Nishan Sahib on Gurdwara Thala Sahib in Paktia province of Afghanistan had been removed. One Indian journalist, Danish Siddiqui was murdered while reporting. He was covering a vicious fighting between Afghan military and Taliban militants near Pakistan border in Kandahar province. There were multiple blasts in Kabul, even there was a car explosion outside Afghanistan’s defense minister’s residence. The main issue of discussion in the meeting held in 6th August was obviously Taliban and also the way they captured large areas in the countryside of Afghanistan. They are challenging the Afghan government forces in several large cities like in Herat, near the western border with Iran, and Kandahar in the south.
Afghan ambassador Farid Mamundzay thanked India for its role as council president. India’s permanent representative to UN T.S. Tirumurthy rightly said “the future of Afghanistan cannot be its past”. On the meeting India stressed on dismantling the terrorist safe heaven of the region. And as per my understanding it is none other than Pakistan. He also said there should be zero tolerance on terrorism. It should be ensured that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used by terrorist groups to threaten and attack any other country. It is very important to stop those countries who are providing material and financial support to terrorist entities in Afghanistan. According to Tirumurthy it is the correct time for international community to take action on this issue.
At last in conclusion I can say everyone want a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. To maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan every country should come together in a decision. Because if stability will not prevail in Afghanistan, it can turn into a global threat. Also, international community should put sanction on those countries who are financing and sheltering terrorists.