No Mention of Pak in PM Modi’s UNGA Speech: Key Highlights
PM Modi exhorted the international community to stand united against terrorism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on Friday, 27 September, during which he focused on issues such as development, security, counter-terrorism and climate change.
This was his second address to the General Debate at the UN, five years after his maiden speech as prime minister in 2014. There was, however, no mention of Pakistan in his speech.
Here are the key highlights:
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‘World Should Unite Against Terror’
PM Modi exhorted the international community to stand united against terrorism, which he described as one of the biggest challenges not for any single country, but for the entire world.
"We believe that this is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity," Modi said while speaking in Hindi.
"The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism, dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the UN," Prime Minister Modi rued.
Noting that India is a country that has given the world, not war, but Buddha's message of peace, Modi said, "And that is the reason why our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage."
"And that is why, for the sake of humanity, I firmly believe, that it is absolutely imperative that the world unites against terrorism and stands as one against terrorism," he added.
PM Modi also claimed the largest number of sacrifices made by soldiers of any country for UN peacekeeping missions are from India. At least 160 Indian peacekeepers have paid the price while serving with the United Nations, reported PTI.
On Climate Change
During his address, Modi said that India was one of the leading nations in the fight against climate change, even though its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions was “very low”. Talking about the steps taken by his government to fight climate change, he said:
“On one hand, we are working towards achieving the target of 450 gigawatts of renewable energy, and on the other hand, we have also taken the initiative to create the International Solar Alliance.”PM Modi
Modi said one of the effects of global warming was the increasing number and severity of natural disasters, and at the same time "they are appearing in new areas and in new forms."
"In view of this, India has initiated the formation of the ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’ (CDRI). This coalition will help build infrastructure which can withstand natural disasters," he was quoted by PTI as saying.
No Single-Use Plastic
Modi, on Friday, said during his address that India was initiating a very large campaign to make the country a plastic-free nation.
"As I came in here, on a wall of this building, I noticed the call to make the United Nations free of single-use plastic," he said.
"I am pleased to inform this august assembly that even as I am addressing you today, a very large campaign is being started across the entire country to make India free of single-use plastic," he said during his address.
Talking about cleanliness, PM Modi said, “When a developing nation successfully carries out the biggest cleanliness drive of the world and provides more than 11 crore toilets to its people within just five years, that system gives a message of inspiration to the entire world.”
During his speech, Modi also brought up welfare schemes including ‘Ayushman Bharat’, Aadhaar, ‘PM Jan Dhan Yojana’, among others.
‘India’s Culture is India’s Strength’
PM Modi, during his speech, said, “The very core of India's approach is public welfare through public participation and this public welfare is not just for India but for the entire world.”
‘Fragmented World Is in Interest of None’
Modern technology is bringing about sweeping changes in every sphere of life and a fragmented world is in the interest of none, Modi said, pressing the international community to give a new direction to multilateralism.
Modi's remarks came at a time when tech billionaires like Elon Musk and Jack Ma have put artificial intelligence (AI) in the spotlight, cautioning that the modern technology will inevitably change the way people live and work in an unprecedented manner.
“The face of the world is changing today. Modern technology in the 21st century, is bringing about sweeping changes in social life, personal life, economy, security, connectivity and international relations. In such a situation, a fragmented world is in the interest of no one.”PM Narendra Modi
"Neither do we have the option to confine ourselves within our boundaries. In this new era, we will have to give new direction to multilateralism, and to the UN," he said.
Referring to Swami Vivekananda, Tamil Poet Kaniyan Pungundranar
Modi also referred to Swami Vivekananda's historic address at the convention of Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and asserted that India's message to the global community remained the message of harmony and peace which the spiritual guru gave in 1893.
"One hundred and twenty five years ago, the great spiritual guru Swami Vivekananda gave this message to the world during the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The message was harmony and peace. And not dissension. Today, the message from the world's largest democracy, for the international community, is still the same – harmony and peace," he was quoted by PTI as saying.
Quoting the Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar's famous quotes "Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir" which means 'We belong to all places, and to everyone’, he said this sense of belonging beyond borders is unique to India.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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