Akbar to address high-level UNGA summit for refugees, migrants

United Nations: Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar will attend several meetings at the UN, including a high-level summit on refugees and migrants aimed at addressing the unprecedented crisis.

Akbar will attend various summits being organised at the high-level segment of the 71st UN General Assembly that opens today. He will hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts of different nations on the sidelines of the session.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive here on September 24 to address the General Debate on September 26.

Akbar, who arrived here from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Venezuela, will address the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, which will kick off the high-level week. The India-US-Afghanistan trilateral will also be convened in New York later this week.

The summit is the first time that the General Assembly has called for a meeting at the Heads of State and Government level on the topic and “it is a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response”, the world body said.

World leaders are expected to adopt a political declaration as an outcome document at the summit, during which the UN will see a new addition to its family, a dedicated migration agency.

Leaders of the UN and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will sign an agreement to officially make IOM a related agency of the UN system.

Akbar is also expected to attend other high-level summits and meetings during the week.

On September 21, the Assembly will hold a high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance, which has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development.

On the same day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will make a pitch for an early entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change by convening a special event at which countries can deposit their ratification instruments with him.

On September 22, there will be a high-level segment of the General Assembly to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development.

A total of 195 leaders including 86 Heads of State, a Crown Prince, five vice presidents and 51 ministers will address the General Debate.