India has a critical role to play in restoring trust in multilateralism worldwide – so says the President of the United Nations General Assembly as he wrapped up an official visit to the country.
Assembly President Dennis Francis, who visited Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai as part of a five-day visit that concluded on Friday, told a press conference in the capital that India – as the world’s largest democracy -- already played an important role within the UN and globally.
“In these challenging times, where the UN membership is more divided, as President of the General Assembly I look to India to lead the charge in our quest to repair the trust deficit among Member States,” Mr. Francis said.
Multilateralism was central to the Assembly President’s agenda during his visit: in Delhi he delivered a public lecture on the subject at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) while in Mumbai he participated in a ‘fireside chat’ on the theme that was organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
During his visit, Mr. Francis met the President of India, Droupadi Murmu; the External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar; and the Governors and Chief Ministers of the states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, and the UN’s Resident Coordinator in India, Shombi Sharp, joined him in many of his meetings. He also spoke with the UN Country Team and heard about its partnership with the Government.
Mr. Francis also participated in a roundtable on digital public infrastructure and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and met with young changemakers working at the grassroots level around the country.
In addition, he visited an NGO in Rajasthan that manufactures affordable prosthetic limbs, toured World Heritage List sites in Jaipur and Mumbai and rang the bell at the National Stock Exchange.
In Mumbai, Mr. Francis attended Republic Day celebrations and laid a wreath at the city’s 26/11 memorial. He also laid a wreath in a ceremony at the Rajghat memorial in Delhi.