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India readies for Security Council presidency in August

India will assume the presidency of the Security Council for August and use the opportunity to demonstrate it has the “not only has the credentials but the political maturity” to be a permanent member, Delhi’s UN envoy Hardeep Singh Puri says.

See report by IANS and UNI here.

“[India intends] to conduct our presidency in a manner which provides a clear message to all that India is a country which not only has the credentials but the political maturity to supervise the work of the Council and which in turn re-establishes the message that we have the credentials to be a permanent member," he said.

Sudan, Libya and peacekeeping are among the issues that will come up in August, he also said.

Meanwhile, at the monthly debate this week on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, India said Israel needed to halt constructing settlements in the occupied territories. See PTI's report here.

Mr. Puri told the Security Council on Tuesday:

“Putting a stop to settlement activities should be the first step in this process.”

“We concur with the sense of the international community that freezing of settlement activity in the Palestinian territories could enable the peace talks to resume.”

Unless this essential step is taken and peace talks resume, the growing desperation may lead the parties to actions that can spiral out of control.