India to push for ceasefire in Libya at the UNSC news
30 July 2011

New York: New Delhi will seek to bring about ''cessation of hostilities'' in Libya during the Ramzan period when it assumes the presidency of the United Nations Security Council next month after a gap of 19 years. Members assume presidency of the Council on a rotating basis.

Hardeep Singh Puri, India's permanent representative to the UN, said, ''I am particularly worried, if I may say so, about the situation in Libya. With the month of Ramadan, the month of prayer and fasting starting on the 1st of August, we would be happy if there could be cessation of hostilities there.''

The issue is expected to figure in the discussions over the next few weeks.

Puri, who was interviewed on the UN radio, also said India would focus on UN's peacekeeping mission as it is one of the largest contributors to the missions across the world.

''Every country, which has the presidency, naturally pursues its own favourite themes or priorities. We are going to deal with peacekeeping,'' Puri said.

He also touched upon a recent controversy when the German presidency this month forced discussion on climate change in the Council, a move that was resented by many members, including Russia, China and India. Puri had then dubbed it a case of  ''creeping mandate'', whereby the Council keeps bringing a larger number of issues up for discussion and possible action.

''I found, over the years, the Security Council has now started dealing with a large number of thematic issues, those relating to children, women, issues relating to sexual violence, HIV/AIDS etc. Now each time a case is made out, saying that there is a security dimension to that. Now climate change is a case in point,'' he said.

As for the coming month, Puri said, ''There is a history that things do happen in the month of August - time of the year when normally people are away. In so far as India is concerned, clearly we are looking forward to our presidency - we are on the Council after a gap of 19 years which means we haven't had the presidency of the Council for that period of time,'' the Indian diplomat said.

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India to push for ceasefire in Libya at the UNSC