By Arul Louis
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Seoul and discussed Security Council reforms, an issue considered important by New Delhi.
Ban also asked Modi to attend the landmark UN Summit in September, which would mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the world body and adopt new Sustainable Development Goals, Ban’s spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters here.
“The secretary-general underscored that 2015 would be a year for global action, as the new Sustainable Development Goals are expected to be adopted in September at the General Assembly,” Haq said.
“The secretary-general expressed hope that the prime minister himself would represent India at the September summit in New York.”
The two leaders reached Seoul to attend the Sixth Asian Leadership Conference.
Climate change was another top on their agenda, Haq said.
Earlier, Modi tweeted: “Discussed key global issues during the wonderful meeting with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.”
Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in India’s external affairs ministry, also tweeted: “We talked about maritime security & cooperation in maritime security.”
Modi held talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye earlier in Seoul and the two countries decided to elevate their ties to a special strategic partnership.
Modi tweeted after the meeting, “Talks with President Park Geun-hye were fruitful & will lead to stronger ties between our Nations.”
Both sides agreed to increase their defence and security cooperation and also inked seven agreements, including on avoidance of double taxation and for cooperation between their National Security Councils.
The reform of the UN Security Council is expected to figure at the 70th anniversary summit of the UN and the long drawn-out efforts for changes to the Council structure have been reinvigorated in view of the upcoming summit.
India, which has pushed for reforming the Council, is considered one of the front-runners for a permanent seat on the highest decision-making body in the UN.
The summit will also set new global development goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals set in 2005.