In 1992, then Indian PM PV Narasimha Rao had attended a UNSC meeting but he did not preside over it

Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to preside over the United Nations Security Council on August 9, former Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said.

“A first in the making…With India as President of @UN Security Council in August, an Indian Prime Minister may perhaps preside, albeit virtually, a Council meeting for 1st time on 9 August 2021,” Akbaruddin tweeted along with a picture of Prime Minister Modi from his last visit to the UN in 2019.

The former Indian envoy to the UN said India has been on the Security Council several times, yet in the 75plus years this is the first time our political leadership has invested in presiding over an event of the Security Council.

“It shows that the leadership wants to lead from the front,” he was quoted by a news agency as saying.

“It shows, India and its political leadership are invested in our foreign policy ventures and it provides a signal to everybody else that India wants to lead from the front. Although this is a virtual meeting, it will be a first meeting of sorts for us. So it’s historic,” he added.

Akbaruddin who is currently serving as the Dean, Kautilya School of Public Policy,maintained that the last time an Indian Prime Minister was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992, when he attended a UNSC meeting. However, the then Prime Minister had not presided over the meeting of the UNSC.

According to reports, External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar is also expected to travel to New York and will be chairing two important debates, one on technology and peacekeeping and another will be a discussion on Secretary General’s 13th strategic-level report on ISIS.

Earlier on the eve of its membership, India’s Permanent Representative to UN, TS Tirumurti said in a video message on Saturday that India will be focusing upon holding signature events in three major areas - maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism during this entire month.

“It is a singular honour for us to be presiding over the Security Council the same month when we are celebrating our 75th Independence Day,” he said.

Today, being the first working day of India’s presidency, Tirumurti will hold a hybrid press briefing in the UN headquarters on the Council’s programme of work.

According to a schedule released by UN, the Indian envoy to UN will also provide a briefing for member states of the United Nations which are non-members of the Council on its work for the month.