Press Conference by Security Council President on Programme of Work for December
The Security Council’s programme for December features an open debate on a new orientation for reformed multilateralism, as well as a briefing on the principles and way forward for a global counter-terrorism approach, its President for the month told a Headquarters press conference today.
Ruchira Kamboj (India) said the Minister for External Affairs of India will chair an open debate on 14 December where Member States can exchange ideas on how to inject new life into multilateralism and ensure that they have adequate tools to address the challenges of the future.
On 15 December, the Minister will chair a briefing on a global counter-terrorism approach, enabling the Council to take stock and build on a special meeting of its Counter-Terrorism Committee, which took place in Mumbai and Delhi in October, she said. India is the Committee’s current Chair.
Two side events are planned, she said. On 14 December, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi, to be placed on the North Lawn of Headquarters, will be unveiled in the presence of the Secretary-General, the Minister for External Affairs and other Council members. The second side event will be the launch of the Group of Friends on Accountability for Crimes Against United Nations Peacekeepers, which will keep a spotlight on the issue of safety and security of peacekeepers, she said.
Starting today, India has also taken over the presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20), she noted, adding that her country will seek to play an important role in finding pragmatic global solutions for the well-being of all and voicing hope that it will meet the expectations of the global community.
Noting that 2023 is the International Year of Millets, as declared in a General Assembly resolution, she encouraged the press corps to attend her country’s events aimed at promoting that grain.
At the outset, Ms. Kamboj, noting that December is the last month in India’s eighth turn as a non-permanent Council member, said that her country has made every effort over the last two years to bridge the different voices within the 15‑member organ to ensure that it speaks with one voice as far as possible on a variety of issues. It will bring that same spirit to its presidency, she added.
Responding to journalists’ questions about the situation in Ukraine, she underscored that Ukraine is very much a focus matter for the Council and confirmed that meetings will be held on the matter.
Asked about how India, as president of both the Council and the G20, will use its role towards finding solutions to geopolitical challenges, she said that with respect to the G20 presidency, the Summit will be held in New Delhi on 9 and 10 September 2023. As the Prime Minister of India has mentioned, its presidency will be ambitious, decisive and all-inclusive and focus on keeping unity. India hopes to bring its successes, its experiences and people-centric solutions to the table, she noted.
On India’s prospects for becoming a permanent Council member, she highlighted that India has always been a solution provider. Its provision of medicine and equipment during the COVID‑19 pandemic, as well as of humanitarian assistance to countries in need, points to India’s readiness to take its place at the “global top table” and further contribute to the global agenda. She added that the case for Council reform is undeniable.
Asked about a briefing on 19 December on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, she said that direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine on final status issues is the best way to achieve a two-State solution. India has always supported the international community’s efforts toward that end and stands ready to support efforts in restarting negotiations, she said.
Asked to provide more information about a briefing on non-proliferation on 19 December, she said that it relates to Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on that country’s nuclear programme.
Addressing further questions about Ukraine as well as Haiti, she pointed out that while they may not appear on the schedule, the Council is very much seized of those matters and actively following developments. Everyone wants to de‑escalate the situation in Ukraine, she added, voicing hope that those efforts will soon succeed.
Asked about Syria and the cross-border mechanism and the Council’s scheduled vote on the matter in January, she said that discussions are ongoing and there will soon be developments on that front.
Asked about the status of a presidential statement on the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said that work has not yet happened, noting divergent views on the matter.
For the full programme of work, please see: www.un.org/securitycouncil/events/calendar.