November 24, 2022

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres begins a three-day tour of India on October 18

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will pay a three-day visit to India from Tuesday, during which he will pay tribute to the victims of the 26/11 terrorist attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, in addition to converse with his Indian interlocutors.

It will be Guterres’ first visit to India since the start of his second term in January. He had already visited the country in October 2018 during his first term as senior executive.

The Secretary-General will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a Mission Life-related event in Kevadiya, Gujarat on 20 October.

His visit to the country comes more than a week before the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee is due to hold two-day deliberations in India.

“Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, will be on an official visit to India from October 18 to 20,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

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He indicated that Guterres will begin his visit to India by paying tribute to the victims of the 26/11 terrorist attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai. He will also deliver a public address at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai on the subject — “India @75: UN-India Partnership: Strengthening South-South Cooperation.”

The Taj Mahal Palace hotel was one of the targets of the horrific terrorist attacks of 26/11 almost 14 years ago.

The MEA said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar would hold bilateral talks with Guterres on issues of global concern, steps to deepen India’s engagement with the UN including through the country’s next presidency of the G20.

He said Guterres will attend the launch of the Mission LiFE booklet, logo and slogan in Kevadiya on October 20.

The LiFE concept was presented by Modi at COP26 in Glasgow last November.

The Prime Minister then urged the global community of individuals and institutions to lead LiFE as an international mass movement towards “conscious and deliberate use, instead of senseless and destructive consumption” to protect and preserve the environment.

“Mission LiFE will be India’s flagship initiative at the United Nations and other international platforms to showcase climate action and rapid achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” the MEA said.

“Its central idea reflects India’s philosophy of respecting mother nature and aims to pilot a targeted program that will mobilize one billion (100 crore) Indians to become pro-planet (3P) people, who would adopt a behavior simple and environmentally and climate friendly and actions in their daily lives to promote a common commitment to protect our planet,” he added.

In Kevadiya, Guterres is expected to pay floral tributes to the Statue of Unity, MEA said, adding that he will also visit the country’s first solar village in Modhera (Gujarat) and other development projects in the region.

The UN secretary-general will also visit the Temple of the Sun in Modhera, before departing for his onward destination, according to the MEA.