United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

Delighted To Arrive In When Country Is Celebrating ‘Second Diwali’: UNGA Prez

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Dennis Francis expressed his happiness as he arrived in India amid Ram Lalla’s Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya and said that he is looking forward to discussing peace and progress in the country.

Expressing his feelings, the UNGA President said, “Delighted to arrive in New Delhi on an auspicious day when the country is celebrating its ‘Second Diwali’.

Taking to X, the UNGA President said, “Namaste, Bharat! Delighted to arrive in New Delhi on an auspicious day when the country is celebrating its ‘Second Diwali’. Looking forward to fruitful discussions over the next few days on Peace, Progress, Prosperity and Sustainability!”

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Dennis Francis arrived in New Delhi on a five-day visit to India to advance India-UN ties.

The UNGA President was received at the airport by India’s permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj.

The UNGA President is visiting India from January 22-26 at the invitation of External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar.

Meanwhile, the Pran Prathistha ceremony is being held today in the temple town of Ayodhya amid tight security. The historic ritual of Ram Lalla ‘Pran Pratistha’ will take place in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saints, and a host of distinguished guests.

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust announced on Sunday that the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony will be marked by a dazzling musical event titled ‘Mangal Dhwani’.

The ‘Pran Pratishtha’ of Shri Ram Lalla at Ayodhya Temple was held at 12:30 pm.

The theme of his presidency of the 78th UNGA is “Rebuilding trust and reigniting solidarity.” During the visit, the PGA will hold talks with EAM Jaishankar on key multilateral issues of mutual interest.

In New Delhi, the PGA will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. He will also attend a round table on India’s advancements in Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI). He will also deliver a public address at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) on “Multilateralism and Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability” on January 24, as per a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Francis will then travel to Jaipur and Mumbai. In Mumbai, he will pay floral tributes at the 26/11 memorial. His engagements in Mumbai will include a visit to the National Stock Exchange and an address on New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

On January 26, on the occasion of Republic Day, Francis will participate as a state guest in the Republic Day Parade of Maharashtra.

The President’s visit to India presents a unique opportunity to strengthen India-UN ties and especially with the General Assembly, which is the most representative organ of the United Nations.

Discussions during the visit would include India’s call for reforms of the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, to make it more equitable and representative with a view to enhancing the representation of developing countries.

The visit will also be an opportunity to enhance India’s collaboration with the United Nations on Indian priorities as well as the global challenges being faced by the Global South, as per the official release.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Shri Ramlalla in the newly-built Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya on Monday.

The Prime Minister reached Ayodhya earlier in the day to take part in the auspicious ceremony.

“The divine moment of Pran Prathishta of Shri Ram Lala in Ayodhya Dham is an emotional moment for everyone. It is my good fortune to be part of this unique programme. Jai Siyaram,” PM Modi said on X.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are also attending the ceremony being held at the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

Over 8,000 guests have been invited to the ceremony at the grand temple.

Representatives of all major spiritual and religious sects in the country are attending the historic Pran Pratishtha ceremony. People from all walks of life, including representatives of various tribal communities, are also attending the ceremony. The Prime Minister will address this distinguished gathering on the occasion.

PM Modi will interact with shramjeevis associated with the construction of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir. He will also visit the Kuber Tila, where the ancient Mandir of Bhagwan Shiv has been restored.

The magnificent Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir is constructed in traditional Nagara style. Its length (east-west) is 380 feet; width 250 feet and height is 161 feet; and is supported by a total of 392 pillars and 44 doors. The pillars and walls of the temple showcase intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities, gods, and goddesses. In the main sanctum sanctorum at ground floor, the childhood form of Bhagwan Shri Ram (the idol of Shri Ramlalla) has been placed.

The main entrance to the Mandir is situated on the eastern side, which can be approached by ascending 32 stairs through the Singh Dwar.

There are a total of five Mandaps (Halls) in the Mandir – Nritya Mandap, Rang Mandap, Sabha Mandap, Prathana Mandap and Kirtan Mandap. Near the Mandir is a historic well (Sita koop), dating back to the ancient era. In the southwestern part of the Mandir complex, at Kuber Tila, the ancient Mandir of Bhagwan Shiv has been restored, along with the installation of a statue of Jatayu.

The foundation of the Mandir has been constructed with a 14-meter- thick layer of roller-compacted concrete (RCC), giving it the appearance of artificial rock. No iron is used anywhere in the Mandir. For protection against ground moisture, a 21-foot-high plinth has been constructed using granite.

The Mandir complex has a sewage treatment plant, water treatment plant, water supply for fire safety and an independent power station. The Mandir has been constructed employing the country’s traditional and indigenous technology. (ANI)

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UNGA President

Let Us Embrace Gandhi’s Message: UNGA President

President of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Dennis Francis, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, urged people to embrace the message of Mahatma Gandhi of establishing world peace.

“There is no way to peace, peace is the way. Today’s International Day of Non-Violence marks the birth anniversary of #MahatmaGandhi – a beacon of peace & non-violence,” posted the UNGA President on the social media platform, X.

The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, October 2, is also observed as International Day of Non-Violence. It was established on June 15, 2007, according to the UNGA resolution A/RES/61/271.

“Let us embrace #Gandhi’s message and invest in peace; this is an investment in our collective prosperity,” the post added.

The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations also observed the Gandhi Jayanti saying every Indian is proud to see the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the UN Headquarters in New York. 

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations also shared an old picture that shows External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Former United Nations General Assembly President Csaba Korosi and Permanent Representative of India to the UN Ruchira Kamboj with bust of Mahatma Gandhi at UN Headquarters. 

Sharing a post on X, the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations stated, “It makes very Indian proud to see the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at UN Headquarters…”

In December last year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Csaba Korosi and Ruchira Kamboj joined them on the occasion and paid floral tributes at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi, said the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in a press release.

Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan to’ was recited at the event. The bust of Mahatma Gandhi, a gift by India, is the first sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi that has been installed at the North Lawn Gardens of the United Nations. (ANI)

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Jaishankar Armenian Counterpart Mirzoyan Affirm Strong Bilateral Partnership

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a meeting with Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. The two leaders affirmed a “strong bilateral relationship.” 

After the meeting, Jaishankar in a post shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, stated, “On the sidelines of #UNGA78, met with @AraratMirzoyan FM of Armenia. Appreciate his sharing assessment of the current situation in the Caucasus. Affirmed our strong bilateral relationship.”

Notably, India recognized Armenia in 1991 and India’s Ambassador in Moscow was concurrently accredited to Armenia, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations was signed on 31 August 1992 in Moscow.

Earlier, EAM Jaishankar also met Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmedin Konakovic. The two leaders discussed growing bilateral ties with a focus on trade and economy.

Sharing a post on X, Jaishankar stated, “Good meeting with FM Elmedin Konakovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on #UNGA78 sidelines. Discussed growing our bilateral ties with a focus on trade and economy.”

He also met Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alicia Barcena and discussed taking forward the partnership between the two nations with a focus on business, science & technology, education, economy and traditional medicine. 

After the meeting, Jaishankar in a post on X, stated, “A real pleasure to meet with Secretary of Foreign Affairs @aliciabarcena of Mexico this morning in New York. Discussed taking forward our Privileged Partnership focusing on business, science & technology, education, economy and traditional medicine. Also exchanged views on the reforming multilateralism and our work together in G20.” 

Notably, EAM Jaishankar is in New York to lead the Indian delegation for the UNGA session where he will address the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, according to an official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs. After concluding his visit to New York, he will travel to Washington, DC.

On Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar along with United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis and foreign ministers of other nations attended the India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development event in New York. 

He called India’s G20 Presidency challenging due to a “very sharp East-West polarization and a very deep North-South divide.” He said that India was very determined to ensure that India’s G20 Presidency was able to get back to its core agenda.

In his address at India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development event in New York, Jaishankar began his speech by speaking about India’s G20 Presidency and recently held the G20 Summit.  

“Your presence means a lot to us. It also expresses the sentiments that you feel for India and underlines the import of South-South cooperation. We meet just a few weeks after the New Delhi G20 Summit, a summit which took place on the theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future,” Jaishankar said.

“Now, it was a challenging summit. It was actually a challenging presidency, and it was challenging because we were confronting a very sharp East-West polarization as well as a very deep North-South divide. But we were very determined as the Presidency of the G20 to make sure that this organization on which the world really had put so much hope was able to get back to its core agenda,” he added. (ANI)

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Pakistan Caretaker PM Kakar

Pak PM Kakar Raises Kashmir At UNGA, India To Reply On Saturday

Pakistan caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar on Friday predictably raised the Kashmir bogey in his speech at the UN General Assembly. Kakar claimed that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is among the longest-standing items on the UN agenda.

Kakar’s remarks came during his address to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York today. He said, “Pakistan desires peaceful and productive relations with all our neighbours including India,” and added that “Kashmir is the key to peace between Pakistan and India.”

India has repeatedly raised its concern over Pakistan’s support of cross-border terrorism and has asserted that terror and talks cannot go together.

India has also provided evidence at various international forums of Pakistan’s support for Terrorist groups.

Pakistan’s caretaker PM however harped on what he called the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

“India has evaded implementation of the security council’s resolutions which call for the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir to be decided by its people through UN-supervised plebiscite. Since August 2019, India has deployed 900,000 troops in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to impose the final solution for Kashmir,” Kakar claimed.

Following the Indian government’s decision in August 2019 to abolish Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into two Union territories- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Pakistan government, then led by Imran Khan, expelled India’s ambassador to Islamabad and halted bilateral trade.

India has already made it clear after the Pulwama attack in 2019 that it wants normal bilateral ties with Pakistan, adding that it is incumbent upon them to create a conducive environment free from terrorism and hostilities.

Earlier in August, former Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif had shown his willingness to talk to India.

“With our neighbours, we are prepared to talk to them, provided that the neighbour is serious to talk on serious matters on the table because war is no more an option. Pakistan is a nuclear power, not as an aggressor but for our defence purposes. We had three wars fought in the last 75 years. And what happened is it generates more poverty, unemployment, and lack of resources” PM Sharif had stated.

Following this, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India wanted neighbourly ties with Pakistan but there should be an atmosphere free from terror and violence for such a relationship.

During a weekly briefing, the MEA spokesperson had said “We have seen reports regarding the comments by the Pakistan PM on this issue. India’s clear and consistent position is well known that we desire normal relations with all our neighbouring countries including Pakistan. For this environment free of terror and hostility is imperative.”

India will now have the right to reply to Pakistan’s speech at the UNGA on Saturday morning and a sharp rejoinder is expected. (ANI)

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Pak Provides Safe Havens To Terrorists: India At UNGA

Pak Provides Safe Havens To Terrorists: India At UNGA

India on Thursday exercised it’s ‘Right of Reply’ at UNGA against Pakistan and advised Islamabad to look at its track record as a state that provides safe heavens to terrorists.

At the United Nations General Assembly Eleventh Emergency Special Session, Indian Counsellor Pratik Mathur said, “Pakistan has only to look at itself and its track record as a State that harbours and provides safe havens to terrorists and does so with impunity.”
He also advised the Pakistani delegation to refer to the numerous Right of Replies that India has exercised in the past.

Mathur said, “I am taking the floor to say that India chooses this time not to respond to Pakistan’s mischievous provocations. Our advice to the delegate of Pakistan is to refer to the numerous RoRs that we have exercised in the past.”

Calling out Pakistan’s uncalled-for provocation “regrettable”, Mathur also said that after two days of intense discussions, all the members present in the UN have agreed that the path of peace can be the only path to resolve conflict and discord.

India’s most wanted Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) deputy chief Abdul Rehman Makki was designated as “global terrorist” in January

India had made listings of Pak-based terrorists a top priority of its UNSC tenure during 2021-22. A total of five names — Abdul Rehman Makki (LeT), Abdul Rauf Asghar (JeM), Sajid Mir (LeT), Shahid Mahmood (LeT), and Talha Saeed (LeT) — were submitted by India for designation under 1267 in 2022.

Each of these five names was initially placed on technical hold by one member state (China) while all other 14 members of the Council agreed to their listing.

In 2020, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court convicted Makki on one count of terrorism financing and sentenced him to prison, acccording to the US State Department.

Earlier in this month, India’s Indus Commissioner issued a notice to Pakistani counterpart to notify a date for the commencement of interstate bilateral negotiations to rectify an ongoing material breach of the Indus Water treaty, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday.

He further said that India is not involved in the process of the arbitration court.

“We have issued rather our India’s Indus Commissioner issued a notice on January 25 for modification of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 to his Pakistani counterpart. This notice was issued with the intent to provide Pakistan an opportunity to enter into government-to-government negotiations, to rectify an ongoing material breach of the treaty. We have called upon Pakistan to notify a suitable date for the commencement of interstate bilateral negotiations under article XII (3) within 90 days,” Bagchi said in response to a question on India’s notice to Pakistan for amendments to the Indus water treaty.

“I am not aware of a response from Pakistan as of yet. I am not aware of any response or comment by the World Bank,” Bagchi said.

He added by saying that India is not participating or involved in the process in any way, in response to a media query on New Delhi’s position on the arbitration court.

India issued notice to Pakistan on January 25 for modification of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of September 1960 after Islamabad’s actions adversely impinged the provisions of the treaty, according to sources. (ANI)

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Kashmir At UNGA Vote On Russia

India Slams Pak’s Remarks On Kashmir At UNGA Vote On Russia

India on Wednesday gave a befitting response to Pakistan after it raked up the Kashmir issue during the United Nations General Assembly debate on Russia.

In his explanation of the vote at the UNGA concerning the Russia-Ukraine war, Pakistani diplomat Munir Akram brought up the issue of Kashmir, in an attempt to draw parallels between the two situations.
In a strongly worded response, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj said, “We have witnessed, unsurprisingly, yet again, an attempt by one delegation to misuse this forum and make frivolous and pointless remarks against my country.”

The Indian diplomat said such a statement deserves collective contempt from a mindset that repeatedly utters falsehoods.

To set the record straight, Kamboj said, “entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always be an integral part of India… We call on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism so our citizens can enjoy their right to life and liberty.”

Earlier, the UNGA adopted a resolution condemning the Russian annexation of the four Ukrainian regions. 143 members voted in favor of the resolution while five voted against it. A total of 35 countries abstained from the resolution, including India.

After abstaining on the UNGA resolution condemning Russia, India on Wednesday expressed deep concern at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including the targeting of civilian infrastructure and deaths of civilians.

The latest resolution, which comes after Russia vetoed a similar proposal in Security Council, condemns Russia’s “attempted illegal annexations” of the four Ukrainian regions following “so-called referendums”.

Delivering her explanation of the vote before the member states, ambassador Kamboj said India has consistently advocated that no solution can be reached at human cost and escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest.

“We have urged that all efforts be made for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an urgent return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy,” she said. (ANI)

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Afghanistan Taliban

Taliban Denies Threat Of Terrorism Still Exists In Afghanistan

Responding to concerns expressed by countries at the 77th UNGA session over the terrorism threat still emanating from Afghanistan, the Taliban said that the allegations were baseless.

“These concerns, based on incorrect information and sources, are being brought up as the relevant parties are yet to hand over the seat of Afghanistan at the United Nations to its rightful legal and political owners, the Afghan government,” read a statement from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Some countries, including the United States and Pakistan, expressed concerns at the 77th session of UNGA that the threat of terrorism still exists in Afghanistan.

The Taliban further stated that if the group will be considered the legal and political owners of the Afghan government, it will open an opportunity to share ground realities of Afghanistan with the region directly and world countries and address any concerns.

“The Islamic Emirate once again rejects such assertions and reiterates its position to the world: the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against any other country, nor does any armed group currently have a presence in Afghanistan. Rather than raising unsubstantiated concerns and allegations, the world should engage positively with the Islamic Emirate by sharing their views and concerns directly, and not through the media or public statements,” added the statement.

The Taliban launched an offensive against the democratically elected Afghan government last year after the Biden administration announced the end of its military presence in Afghanistan.

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained complete control over the Afghan capital. Later in September, the Taliban declared a complete victory in Afghanistan and formed an interim government, which hasn’t yet been officially recognized by any country.

Since its ascent to power in Kabul, the Islamic group imposed policies severely restricting basic rights–particularly those of women and girls.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Taliban dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and prohibited girls in most provinces from attending secondary school.

Taliban decrees prohibit women from travelling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces to be covered in public–including women TV newscasters.

The Taliban have also censored, limited critical reporting, and beaten journalists. Taliban forces have carried out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former government officials and security force personnel. They have summarily executed people deemed affiliated with the Islamic State.

Armed groups linked to the Afghan branch of the Islamic State have carried out bombings targeting ethnic Hazaras, Afghan Shias, Sufis, and others, killing and injuring hundreds. (ANI)

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