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Highlights of Visit of External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar visit to USA; Attended 77th UNGA

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External Affairs Minister Jaishankar visited USAOn September 18-28, 2022, Indian Union Minister Subrahmanyam (S.) Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was on a 10-day visit to the United States of America (USA) to strengthen the cooperation on regional and global issues to further enhance the India-US strategic partnership. The visit details are listed below:

September 18 – 24, 2022: Visit to New York, Participated in UNGA 77

From September 18-24, 2022, EAM S. Jaishankar was in New York where he held more than 50 meetings, of which 40 were one-to-one, apart from bilateral, trilateral and group meetings.

UNGA 77 Participation:

He led the India delegation, and represented India for the High Level Week at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 77) at the UN Headquarters in New York. The theme of 77th UNGA was ‘A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges‘.

  • UNGA 77 session was scheduled for September 13-27, 2022 in the first in-person format since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • EAM addressed at the High Level Session of the 77 UNGA on September 24, 2022.

Key Points:

i.Counter-terrorism, women-led development, peacekeeping, reformed multilateralism, climate action, equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines were among the key focus areas for India during the high-level UNGA session.

  • Strengthening of engagements with fellow developing countries through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund and IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation) Fund in the spirit of South-South cooperation was also highlighted.

ii.India’s approach to UNGA 77 was five S’s –Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Prosperity) as set out by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi.

iii.EAM addressed the special event ‘India@75: Showcasing India UN Partnership in Action’ that highlighted India’s development journey and its contributions to South-South Cooperation.

  • The event commemorated and showcased Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

UN launches first-ever International Finance Facility for Education

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his special envoy for global education, Gordon Brown, launched a multi-billion-dollar International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) during UNGA 77 with an initial funding of USD 2 billion.

  • The projects under IFFEd are expected to be initiated in 2023.
  • IFFEd will support education and skills development investments in lower-middle-income countries.
  • The facility is expected to expand to USD 10 billion by 2030.

UNGA Sideline Meetings:

Following are the meetings that were held on the sidelines of UNGA:

QUAD’s 1st Foreign Ministers Meeting:

On the sidelines of UNGA, the foreign ministers of India (S.Jaishankar), United States (Anthony Blinken), Japan (Yoshimasa Hayashi), and Australia (Penny Wong) held their first meeting during which they reaffirmed their partnership, especially in the Indo-Pacific.

Key Points:

i.They also signed a set of guidelines on Quad’s partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR).

ii.The nations agreed to assist each other in taking action against malicious cyber activities

iii.India will be hosting the Quad foreign ministers meeting in 2023, and the QUAD summit in 2024.

G4 Foreign Ministerial Meeting:

India’s EAM chaired the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the G4 (Group of Four) Countries on UN Security Council Reform.

  • It was attended by Foreign Ministers of Japan (Yoshimasa Hayashi), Brazil (Carlos Alberto Franco França), Germany (Annalena Baerbock).

Key Points:

i.Indian side highlighted its commitment to reformed multilateralism.

ii.G4 Foreign Ministers agreed for cooperation to launch text-based negotiations in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN), to cooperate with relevant countries including Africa and the US, and to seek for concrete progress to realize the reform as early as possible.

L.69 Group Meeting:

On the sidelines of UNGA 77, EAM attended the High Level Meeting of the L.69 Group on Reinvigorating Multilateralism and Achieving Comprehensive Reform of the UN Security Council’ which was also held in New York.

  • The L.69 Group consists of developing countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean and Small Island Developing States, focused on reforms of the UN Security Council.

Key Points:

i.This meeting commemorated the 15th Anniversary of the founding of L.69 group of pro-reform member states. It was formed in 2007.

ii.During the meeting, the member nations called for urgent and comprehensive reform of the Security Council to reflect the contemporary global realities.

iii.The L.69 Group is presently chaired by St. Vincent and Grenadines.

10th IBSA Trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting:

The 10th India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) Trilateral Ministerial Commission (ITMC) meeting was held in New York which was chaired by EAM S. Jaishankar.

  • Carlos Alberto Franco França, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil; and Dr. Joe Phaahla, Minister of Health of the Republic of South Africa led their respective delegations.
  • The IBSA is a trilateral, developmental initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and exchange.

Key Points:

i.The Ministers reviewed the entire gamut of IBSA cooperation, and held discussions on global issues.

  • They also adopted a Ministerial Communique at the end of the meeting.

ii.The IBSA Fund is a special feature of IBSA collaboration. Since its inception, it has allocated over US $44 million, supporting 39 South-South cooperation development projects in 35 partner countries.

iii.It should be noted that India is the incumbent IBSA Chair and will be hosting the 6th IBSA Summit on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in November 2022.

I2U2 Meeting:

The meeting of I2U2 grouping of India, Israel, UAE and the US was also held on the sidelines of UNGA 77.

  • It was attended by Under Secretary of State Jose W Fernandez; India’s Ministry of External Affairs Economic Relations Secretary Dammu Ravi, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Alon Ushpiz and United Arab Emirates Minister of State Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh.

Key Points:

i.The participants expressed commitment to deepen their economic partnership and has taken stock of current projects in agriculture and clean energy.

ii.The group is aimed to encourage joint investments in 6 mutually identified areas such as water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.

iii.They evaluated the initiatives listed under I2U2, which include: setting up of food parks in India and a hybrid Renewable Energy/Battery Storage project in Dwarka, Gujarat.

4th India-CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2022

On 23 September 2022, the 4th India-CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on the sidelines of UNGA in New York. It was co- chaired by EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar and The Honourable Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration of Belize.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of 20 countries: 15 Member States and 5 Associate Members.

  • 15 Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat (a British overseas territory in the Leeward Islands), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
  •  5 Associate Members: Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.
  • The secretariat headquarters of CARICOM is in Georgetown, Guyana.

India-CELAC Meeting 2022

On September 19, 2022, the India-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Quartet Meeting took place in New York alongside the UNGA, with Argentina serving as pro-tempore president. EAM Dr. S Jaishankar led the Indian delegation.

Other Meetings:

i.EAM participated in plurilateral meetings of the Quad (Australia, India, Japan, the U.S.), IBSA (India, Brazil, and South Africa), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), Presidency Pro Tempore CELAC (Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States), India-CARICOM (Caribbean Community).

ii.He also attended meetings in other trilateral formats, such as 1st India-France-Australia; 1st India-France-the United Arab Emirates; and India-Indonesia-Australia.

  • These were focused on the Indo-Pacific issues.

iii.He held a meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the President of UNGA 77 Csaba Korosi.

EAM’s Bilateral Meeting:

The bilateral meetings he had with are: Sweden foreign minister (FM) Ann Linde, Syria FM Mekdad, Belarus FM Makei, Armenia FM, Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Russia FM Lavrov, Venezuela FM Carlos Faria, Jordan FM Hsafadi, Cyprus FM Ioannis Kasoulides, Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid, Australia FM Penny Wong, Madagascar FM Richard J. Randriamandrato, Morocco FM Bourita,  Spain FM José Manuel Albares Bueno, FMs of Greece, Paraguay, Moldova, Mexico, Japan, German, Bolivia, Norway, Estonia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Austria, Libya, Türkiye,  Trinidad & Tobago, Albania, Malta, Egypt, Indonesia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Cuba, Ethiopia, Serbia and the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Visit to Washington D.C.:

On September 25 – 28, 2022, he visited Washington D.C. for bilateral meetings with US interlocutors. There he held discussions with his counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken; senior members of the US Administration, US business leaders, a round-table focused on S&T (Science and Technology) and interaction with the Indian Diaspora.

  • He also met Lloyd James Austin III, United States Secretary of Defense at Pentagon in Washington DC. The discussions were held to further deepen the US and India ties.

About United States (US):
President– Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
Capital– Washington, D.C.
Currency– US Dollar