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On the bilateral meetings of External affairs Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in New York

New York
October 1, 2007

On Monday, October 1, 2007, the External Affairs Minister delivered his statement at the General Debate of the 62nd UN General Assembly. He also addressed the Council on Foreign Relations, and participated in a public meeting organized by the Indian National Overseas Congress.

The Minister also held bilateral meetings with H.E. U Nyan Win, Foreign Minister of Myanmar, H.E Mr. Kenneth Baugh, Foreign Minister of Jamaica and H.E Mr. Ednan Karabaev, Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan. EAM also met H.E Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and H.E Dr Srgjan Kerim, President of the 62nd UN General Assembly.

During his bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Myanmar, the External Affairs Minister expressed concern at the current situation in Myanmar, noting that as a close and friendly neighbour, India hoped to see peace, prosperity and stability in Myanmar. The Minister also expressed the hope that the process of national reconciliation and political reform, initiated by the Government of Myanmar, would be taken forward expeditiously. Further, he suggested that the Government could consider undertaking an inquiry into recent incidents and the use of force.

In his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Jamaica, the two Ministers discussed the traditionally warm and cordial bilateral relationship. The Ministers agreed on the need to expand cooperation in particular, in developing human resources. In this context, focus areas identified included information technology and the medical sector. During the meeting between EAM and his counterpart from Kyrgyzstan, the two sides reviewed the progress in bilateral cooperation projects, including an India-Kyrgyz Information Technology centre, and other projects in the medical and food processing sectors.

During the meeting between EAM and the UN Secretary-General, the latter underlined India’s important position in the international system, and stressed the importance of India’s continued support for the UN. EAM affirmed India’s support for the UNSG’s efforts to make the UN more efficient and effective. EAM and the UNSG also discussed the situation in Myanmar, apart from reviewing the status of the UN missions in Nepal and Afghanistan. EAM congratulated the UNSG for successfully organizing a number of high-level meetings on the margins of the current UNGA session, including the High-Level meetings on Climate Change and on Afghanistan.

In his meeting with the President of the UN General Assembly, EAM and the PGA discussed current issues on the Agenda of the 62nd UN General Assembly, including climate change and the reform of the United Nations. EAM also thanked the PGA for accepting India’s invitation for him to preside over an informal session of the UN General Assembly, being organized to commemorate the first International Day of Non-Violence on October 2, 2007.