PM Modi lands in the US with a three-fold agenda

SansadTV Bureau

modi in usAfter concluding his maiden visit to Ireland, Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in New York early on Thursday morning.

His visit to the US has a three-fold agenda.

First, PM Modi intends to plan a common strategy for UN Reforms with the other G-4 nations, namely Brazil, Germany and Japan. The reforms will be in view of the text based negotiation that is now on UNGA’s agenda.

Second, PM Modi wants to bring forward India’s position at the UN Sustainable Development Summit. India wants to be a key stakeholder at the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

Third, India wants to go beyond strategic relations with the US and put more focus on commercial aspects. PM Modi intends to reach out to the big players in financial world and the IT industry in the US. These measures are ultimately aimed to boost Modi government’s signature campaigns back home, namely, Make in India and Digital India. During his visit to the Silicon Valley, PM Modi intends to tap the potential of the Indian community there to invest in the start-ups back home.

The G-4 meeting, which is being hosted by India, will be “very substantive and significant” in pushing for early UN Security Council reforms. This comes in the wake of the UN General Assembly adopting a decision to commence text-based negotiations on the long-pending reforms.

The G-4 summit on September 26 will be the first since 2004 and will bring together German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The high-level summit “conveys its own message that the G-4 nations can play a role in galvanizing broad based support for the outcome of the negotiations which will start in November this year,” said India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji.

“We regard this very very substantive and very significant especially in the light of the fact that the UNGA recently passed a decision calling for text-based negotiations and presenting a text on the basis of which the negotiations on the Inter-governmental format can take place,” External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters.

The main focus of the summit is to “build” on the UNGA’s adoption of a negotiating text on UNSC reforms and “the leaders will decide during that meeting on the way forward,” Mukerji said.

PM Modi had called for a concrete outcome on the reforms by the end of the 70th UNGA session which expires next September.

Other than the crucial G-4 meet, PM Modi has a packed schedule in New York for the next two days.

“A packed schedule awaits in the Big Apple. PM @narendramodi arrives in New York on the first part of his US visit,” Vikas Swarup tweeted soon after Modi landed in New York.

He will attend an “important meeting” with FIIs keen to invest in India.

On Friday, PM Modi will address global heads of state at the landmark UN Sustainable Development Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when the new and ambitious post-2015 development agenda will be adopted.

He will also attend a roundtable on media and communications hosted by News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and attend a dinner with Fortune 500 Company CEOs.

During his stay in the city, Prime Minister Modi will have meetings with French President Francois Hollande and heads of state from Bhutan, Sweden, Guyana and Cyprus.

PM Modi will be in the Silicon Valley in California between September 26-27 where he will interact with top CEOs and also address the Indian diaspora.

He will return to New York on September 28 for a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama and also attend a high-level Peacekeeping Summit at the United Nations. At the Peacekeeping Summit, the Prime Minister is expected to seek an enhanced role for peacekeeping contributing countries like India.

The Peacekeeping Summit will also be attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The summit will provide a forum for the leaders of India and Pakistan to come face-to-face. But however, both leaders are unlikely to have a bilateral meeting.

“As of now there is nothing, no bilateral meeting on the schedule,” Vikas Swarup clarified.

PM Modi was received at the JFK airport by Indian Ambassador Arun K Singh, India’s envoy to the UN Asoke Mukerji and Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay. He also received a grand welcome from his supporters before checking in to the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.