Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over a high-level virtual open debate of the UN Security Council on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A case for International Cooperation’ under the Agenda Item Maintenance of International Peace and Security on August 9, Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

Briefing reporters at the regular media briefing, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said this would be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister would be presiding over a meeting of the UN Security Council.

“As you are aware, India is holding the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August. As part of our presidency, we are organizing signature events on three focus areas that we have chosen viz. Maritime Security, Peacekeeping Operations and Counter-Terrorism,” he said.

“On the other two focus areas, we are planning physical meetings chaired by the External Affairs Minister,” he added.

India took over the presidency of the UNSC from France on Sunday for the month of August. This is India’s first presidency in the UNSC during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla are also expected to visit New York this month to address sessions on various themes including Afghanistan.

India is also hosting a special meet at UNSC on Afghanistan on Friday, Bagchi said.

“As regards UN Security Council, the issue of Afghanistan will be deliberated tomorrow. You would have seen the press statement of August 3 on the escalating violence in Afghanistan, which echoes much of what we have been saying. During tomorrow’s debate, we will share our vision and perspectives on Afghanistan, and we look forward to productive deliberations on this important issue,” he said.

India and Afghanistan inked Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2011.

Bagchi said India has been supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in realizing their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future.

“We are closely monitoring the evolving security situation, and we continue to call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. We support an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process,” he said. (ANI)