Overview of EAM Sushma Swaraj’s Visit to New York USA

On September 23, 2018, External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj embarked on a 7-day official visit to United States of America to participate in the following summits and conferences:

Overview of EAM Sushma Swaraj's Visit to New York USAHighlights:
On her visit she participated in the following summits and sessions:

  • Nelson Mandela Peace Summit,
  • UNSG’s Climate Change Event,
  • BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting,
  • Informal Meeting at SAARC Council of Ministers,
  • 9th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission,
  • 73rd Session of the UNGA.

India co-hosted meeting with US over drug menace

  • On September 24, 2018, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj on behalf of India co-hosted a meeting with the United States and other selected countries over the issue of how to combat the drug menace.
  • India is one of 129 countries that have signed the pledge drafted by Trump on commitment towards international fight against drugs.

Nelson Mandela Peace Summit

  • On September 26, 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the Nelson Madela Peace Summit in New York.
  • It was held to commemorate the birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.

BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
On September 27, 2018, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India attended the customary BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on UNGA margins in New York.
i. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Foreign Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Mr. Aloysio Nunes Ferreira.
ii. Other participants in the meeting were:

  • Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu,
  • Foreign Minister of Russian Federation, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, and
  • Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Wang Yi.

iii. Discussion were held on matters of global political, economic, and security significance.
Other News:

  • Brazil will assume the BRICS Chairmanship for 2019.
  • The last summit of BRICS nations, Johannesburg BRICS Summit was held in July 2018 in South Africa.

9th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission
On September 27, 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the 9th Trilateral Ministerial Commission in New York.

  • It was convened by Minister of Foreign Affairs Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho. Another participant of the meeting was Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu.
  • This was the third meeting in the last one year among the nations.
  • The Ministers exchanged views on various issues of global significance, including peace, security, countering terrorism, Development Cooperation and South-South Cooperation.
  • They agreed to continue to coordinate on South-South Cooperation in the run up to BAPA+40 events.
  • They also discussed IBSA events planned for 2018-19 to mark the fifteenth-anniversary of IBSA. These will be celebrated in all three countries of India, Brazil and South Africa (Forming the IBSA).

G4 Ministers from India, Brazil, Germany, Japan review UNSC reform
On September 27, 2018, on the sidelines of G-4 Nations viz. India, Brazil, Germany and Japan reviewed lack of substantive progress in long-pending United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reforms.

  • The meeting hosted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and consisted of the 4 countries.
  • The other foreign ministers at the meeting were Aloysio Nunes Ferreira of Brazil, Heiko Maas of Germany and Taro Kono of Japan.
  • The Ministers reiterated their support for Africa’s representation in both the permanent and non-permanent membership of a reformed and expanded Security Council.

Informal meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers
On September 28, 2018, EAM Sushma Swaraj attended the Informal Meeting of the SAARC Council of Ministers held here on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly.

  • It was chaired by Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.
  • It was attended by foreign ministers of the SAARC bloc – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • She highlighted the importance of trade liberalisation under South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and operationalisation of SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS).

UNSG’s Climate Change Event:
On September 27, 2018, UNSG’s Climate Change event was held in New York.
i. Here India was represented by EAM Sushma Swaraj.
ii. She highlighted India’s standing in combating climate change process by citing examples of the measures taken by the government. Few of them are:

  • India’s commitment to generate 175 gigawatts of solar and wind energy by 2022,
  • Installation of over 300   million LED bulbs, saving US$2 billion and 4 GW of electricity,

Background:
India is the world’s sixth largest producer of renewable energy, and the fifth largest producer of solar energy.

73rd UNGA session begins in New York
On September 29, 2018, EAM Sushma Swaraj represented India in the 73rd UNGA session that was held in New York, USA.
Here, she urged fundamental reforms in UN Security Council.
i. She congratulated Ma Fernanda Espinosa on assuming the position as the President of the 73rd Session of the UNGA. The first woman to occupy this eminent chair was an Indian Smt. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, in 1953.
ii. She reiterated the mission of the current government for the ‘New India’ by 2022 via the schemes and measures. They are:

  • Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat (Clean India, Healthy India);
  • Samarth Bharat, Surakshit Bharat (Prosperous India, Secure India);
  • Shikshit Bharat, Viksit Bharat (Educated India, Developed India);
  • Urjawan Bharat, Shaktiman Bharat (Energised India, Strong India).

iii. Also highlighted the failure of adaptation of draft document on CCIT proposed by India at UN in1996 to work on a common language.
iv. She also urged that Implementation of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) standards, across all jurisdictions, will strengthen international efforts in addressing terrorism.

Bilateral Meetings with other countries:
On the sidelines of the UNGA’s meeting, External Minister Sushma Swaraj met delegates from other countries.
Bilateral MOUs and discussion were held among them. They are as follows:

  • Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne and discussed on
  • Foreign Minister of Ecuador Jose Valencia and discussed on bilateral relationship in the areas of trade, agriculture, pharma, IT and capacity building.
  • Foreign Minister of Colombia, Carlos Holmes Tru and discussed on cooperation on trade & investment, pharma, mining, petroleum and capacity building.
  • Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and discussed on investment in renewable energy, water treatment, tourism and their contribution to our flagship initiatives.
  • Liechtenstein Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick and exchanged views on enhancing bilateral relations in trade & investment, particularly through participation at Indian trade fairs, & tourism.
  • High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and discussed on strategic partnership based on common values of democracy, freedom and rule of law.
  • Morocco Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita discussed strengthening cooperation in areas of commerce, pharma, cyber security, defence and culture.
  • Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Eshaiqer Al-Jafari, Moldova’s Foreign Minister Tudor Ulianovschi,Cyprus Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, Fijian Foreign Minister J V Bainimarama and Estonia’s Foreign Minister Sven Kikser on areas of intensifying cooperation in IT, trade and investment, culture, education, tourism and defence cooperation, trade and capacity building.
  • Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Colombia Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.

BRICS:
♦ Founded: June 2006.
♦ Nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.

SAARC:
♦ Full Form: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
♦ Secretary-General of SAARC: Amjad Hussain B. Sial .
♦ SAARC Countries: AfghanistanBangladeshBhutanIndiaNepal, the MaldivesPakistan and Sri Lanka.
♦ SAARC Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal.
♦ Founded: 1985.

IBSA:
♦ The IBSA Dialogue Forum is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among these countries.
♦ Founded: 2003.
♦ Member Countries: India, Brazil, South Africa.