External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will begin a four-day visit to the US from Monday to attend a number of UN Security Council events including a briefing on terrorism that will be held under India's presidency of the powerful body. Announcing the visit on Sunday, the Ministry of External Affairs said Jaishankar will also preside over an open debate on peacekeeping at the UNSC.
His visit to New York is taking place in the backdrop of the Taliban's rapid onslaught in Afghanistan and the issue is likely to figure in his talks with UN officials.
"External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be visiting New York during India's Presidency of the UNSC and will be presiding over two high-level signature events on August 18 and 19," the MEA said.
"The first event on August 18 will be an open debate on 'Protecting the Protectors: Technology and Peacekeeping' while the second event on August 19 will be a high-level briefing on 'Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts'," it said in a statement. The MEA said both the topics are priorities for India during its UNSC innings.
India began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 1 and it is holding the presidency of the powerful body for the month of August.
An MoU between India and the UN in support to the 'Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping' initiative is expected to be signed during the visit.
"On 19 August, the external affairs minister would preside over a briefing session on the six-monthly report of the UN Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL/Da'esh, under the agenda item "Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts," the MEA said.
It said Jaishankar will also have bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of other member states on the sidelines of the UNSC events.
"The Open Debate on Peacekeeping will focus on the theme of 'Protecting the Protectors', including through the use of modern technological tools to enhance the safety and security of peacekeepers and to aid peacekeeping missions to effectuate their mandates effectively and efficiently," the MEA said.