Voicing concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres encouraged ‘positive dialogue’ to peacefully resolve the disagreements. The UN welcomes a greater role for India in addressing the challenges of regional peace and security, he said.
"On the development front, India already is, and can become an even greater regional development force, helping other countries of the region forge a better future," Guterres said ahead of his visit to India.
"I remain concerned by the situation in Jammu and Kashmir – I encourage positive dialogue for disagreements to be resolved peacefully," he said.
The UN chief will be on a visit to India from October 1 to 3.
During his visit, he is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.
His visit coincides with the beginning of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 2019.
Guterres said he greatly appreciated India for its significant contributions to the UN.
"The dedication and sacrifice of India's uniformed personnel are deeply valued and are a model for many others," he said.
UN Chief Antonio Guterres calls for fresh commitment to rules-based global order ahead of General Assembly Session
UN Chief Antonio Guterres to visit India next month, likely to hold talks with President Kovind, PM Modi
He also highly commended India's contribution to addressing the urgent global challenge of climate change, particularly under the Paris Agreement.
"Climate change is moving faster than we are, and if we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change," he said.
India has not been spared the consequences of climate change, Guterres noted, citing Kerala's worst monsoon flooding in recent history and offered his heartfelt condolences to all affected by the floods.
Describing India as a champion of the global South, he said the country through its Development Partnership Fund with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation supports Southern-owned and Southern-led demand-driven and transformational sustainable development projects across the developing world.
"We are grateful for India's generous contribution towards this initiative," he said.