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In a first for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lead an open United Nations Security Council debate today. The discussion will centre on strengthening marine security.

The meeting, which will be held through video conference, is set to begin at 5.30 p.m. IST, according to the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

On August 5, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, "This would be the first time an Indian Prime Minister would be presiding over a meeting of the UN Security Council."

PM Modi officially announced the event on Twitter on Sunday. "At 5:30 PM tomorrow, August 9, would be chairing the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case For International Cooperation”, he tweeted.

India enjoys the rotational presidency of the top international organisation for the month of August as a non-permanent member. The United Nations Security Council has debated and adopted resolutions on many issues of maritime security and crime. However, this will be the first time in such a high-level open debate that "maritime security" will be considered entirely as an exclusive agenda item.

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  • According to India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador TS Tirumurti, the country would host three high-level signature meetings. The debate on maritime security is the first of three and the other two focus on UN peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.
  • The debate, titled 'Enhancing Maritime Security - A Case for International Cooperation,' will focus on how to successfully counter maritime crime and insecurity while also enhancing maritime coordination.
  • The discussion is anticipated to include international leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • President of Niger Mohamed Bazoum, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh are among the other dignitaries expected to attend today's meeting.
  • "From the era of the Indus Valley Civilization, the oceans have played a significant role in India's history. Prime Minister Modi proposed the concept of SAGAR - an acronym for 'Security and Growth for All in the Region' - in 2015, based on our civilizational ethos that sees the oceans as a promoter of shared peace and prosperity," said MEA.
  • This vision focuses on cooperative measures for sustainable ocean usage and establishes a framework for the region's maritime domain to be safe, secure, and stable.
  • Another conference on the Afghanistan issue was conducted last week under India's leadership when member nations voiced concerns about the deteriorating situation and advocated for a political settlement.
  • Pakistan voiced dissatisfaction with the fact that it was not invited to the special meeting. "We submitted a formal request for participation but it was rejected," Pakistan's permanent ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Munir Akram, said during a news conference following the UNSC meeting on Friday.
  • Meanwhile, Afghan Ambassador to the United Nations Ghulam Isaczai stated that Afghanistan is willing to present substantial proof to the UN Security Council in support of its claim that Pakistan is ensuring a supply chain to Taliban.
  • The Afghan ambassador further claimed that the Taliban are receiving help from transnational terrorist networks' overseas militants while executing "barbaric" acts in the war-torn country.

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