New Delhi: Dennis Francis, President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), expressed his delight upon arriving in India during the Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya. He conveyed his eagerness to engage in discussions about peace and progress in the country, with a particular focus on strengthening India-UN relations and addressing reforms within the United Nations, notably in the Security Council.
India’s permanent representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, warmly welcomed President Francis, who is on a five-day visit from January 22–26 at the invitation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The overarching theme of his 78th UNGA presidency is “rebuilding trust and reigniting solidarity.”
During his stay in New Delhi, the UNGA President is scheduled to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, participate in a round table on India’s digital public infrastructure, and deliver a public address at the Indian Council of World Affairs. His itinerary also encompasses visits to Jaipur and Mumbai, where he will pay respects at the 26/11 memorial and address topics related to multilateralism.
As a state guest during Republic Day on January 26, President Francis will actively participate in the Republic Day Parade of Maharashtra. This visit provides a valuable opportunity to strengthen India-UN ties, emphasizing collaboration on global challenges and the imperative for reforms. It aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation in the Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Shri Ramlalla in Ayodhya, underscoring the cultural and spiritual significance of the newly-built Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir, constructed in traditional Nagara style and adorned with intricate sculptures of Hindu deities.
The UNGA President’s visit mirrors India’s priorities and its commitment to addressing global challenges faced by the Global South through multilateralism and sustainable development.