External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar began a nine-day trip to the United States on Friday to lead the Indian delegation at the high-level week at the annual United Nations General Assembly session.
Jaishankar will be in New York, which hosts the UN headquarters, until September 26, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a release on Friday. Jaishankar will address the General Assembly on that day.
During the visit, the minister is scheduled to attend various plurilateral and bilateral meetings, including those with UN Secretary General António Guterres and Dennis Francis, the President of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly.
The visit will also see New Delhi continue its focus on the 'global south', hard on the heels of its successful courting of African nations at the recent G20 Summit. "In keeping with India's support for the Global South, the minister will be hosting a special event: India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development," the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The visit will also be watched for India's ongoing diplomatic crisis with Canada. The issue is widely tipped to come up for discussions as Jaishankar meets a long list of his foreign counterparts, including from Western nations.
No meeting with Canadian officials is planned as of now, sources said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finished a three-day visit to the UN on Thursday where he is reported to have discussed the allegations he has levelled against India with allied nations.
The visit is also expected to advance India's campaign for a seat at the UN Security Council, which has picked up pace in recent months. On Thursday, foreign ministers of the BRICS nations called for the UN to begin a comprehensive reform of the current Security Council architecture by including India, South Africa and Brazil to the top body of the UN.
World leaders are gathering to engage in the annual high-level General Debate under the theme 'Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity'. This year, there is a special focus on accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Progress on the agenda has largely stalled due to sluggish post-pandemic economies and the escalating problem of conflict in both Ukraine and the developing world, among other reasons.
Jaishankar will visit Washington D.C. from 27 to 30 September for bilateral meetings with US interlocutors. This includes discussions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and senior members of the US Administration.
The Ministry of External Affairs said he will also be meeting with US business leaders and think tanks.
He will also be addressing the Fourth World Culture Festival being organised by the Art of Living.