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President-elect of UN General Assembly outlines priorities to Indian officials in New Delhi

The President-elect of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, on 28 August concluded a two-day visit to New Delhi, at the invitation of the Government of India.

While in the Indian capital, he met with H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India; H.E. Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs of the Republic of India; H.E. Mr. M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs of the Republic of India; and the United Nations Country Team in India, headed by the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Yuri Afanasiev.

At the invitation of Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, President of the Governing Body and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), the President-elect also met with a group of experts on the United Nations to exchange views on the overall work of the Organization and possibilities for its further improvement.

During his meeting with the Prime Minister, the President-elect outlined his priorities for the upcoming General Assembly session, including improving the lives of all people, preventing conflict, sustaining peace, addressing migration, advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, tackling climate change and promoting human rights. He thanked the Prime Minister for India’s contribution to his office’s trust fund and added, “I have always believed in the United Nations. And I am counting on India’s continued support to ensure that the Organization remains relevant and capable of helping the world to find solutions to current challenges.” The two also discussed the fight against terrorism, poverty and youth radicalization, as well as the role of regional organizations in the international system.

Upon meeting the Minister for External Affairs, the President-elect thanked her for inviting him to visit India. Their talks then focused on Security Council reform, revitalization of the General Assembly, terrorism, the Sustainable Development Goals, migration, climate change, investing in youth and sustaining peace. On human rights in general, the President-elect stressed that the international agenda must remain overarching and non-politicised, especially since human rights violations were often the first indicator of impending conflict.

The President-elect was accompanied to India by his Chief of Staff, H.E. Mr. František Ružička, and his spokesperson, Mr. Brenden Varma.


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