Dennis Francis, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, is set to embark on an official visit to India from January 22 to 26. The visit encompasses key cities such as New Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai, where he will engage in various activities and meetings, including a significant encounter with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, as per an official statement from his office.
Over the course of his five-day trip, Francis will conduct bilateral discussions with Indian leadership, interact with civil society, collaborate with leading think tanks, undertake field visits, and participate in events focusing on sustainability, multilateralism, accessibility, and digital public infrastructure, among other pertinent subjects.
In New Delhi, the President of the UN General Assembly will have a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. The discussions are anticipated to revolve around Francis's priorities, ongoing geopolitical tensions, India's role and contributions to the United Nations, and an invitation to participate in the inaugural Sustainability Week (15-19 April 2024, in New York). Additionally, reflections on the Summit of the Future in September 2024, in New York, will be part of the agenda.
During his stay in New Delhi, Francis will pay respects at Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial, and engage in public events, including an address at the Indian Council of World Affairs under the theme of his Presidency: “Peace, Progress, Prosperity, and Sustainability.” He will also deliver remarks at an event on Digital Public Infrastructure, highlighting India's leadership in advocating for the Global South's interests and sharing experiences on efforts to narrow the digital divide.
The itinerary includes a visit to Jaipur, where Francis is expected to commend the work of an NGO specializing in providing affordable and accessible prosthetic limbs. In Mumbai, the final leg of his official visit, the UN General Assembly President will participate in a Fireside Chat event with India’s think tank on “New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism” and will be received at the National Stock Exchange.
Accompanying him on this visit are his Chef de Cabinet, a Special Adviser on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, a Sustainable Development Adviser, and a Communications Adviser. The trip underscores the importance of international collaboration and India's role in addressing global challenges.
(With Agency Inputs)