PM Modi addresses UNGA, pitches for UNSC reforms

SansadTV Bureau

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the Sustainable Development Summit at the United Nations in New York on Friday. PTI Photo

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly’s landmark Sustainable Development Summit where he pitched for reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). He said the reforms were essential for the world body to be relevant in the current world realities.

PM Modi pitched hard for India’s bid for a permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat in the expanded world body and called for necessary reforms to make it “broad-based”. This, he said would maintain its credibility and legitimacy in the modern world.

“We must reform the UN and the Security Council. This is essential so that the institutions have greater credibility and legitimacy. With a broad-based representation, we will be more effective in achieving our goals,”  said PM Modi  while addressing the UN General Assembly.

“We need UN reforms so that it inspires confidence and becomes relevant to the current world realities,” PM Modi added.

Modi began his address by invoking the “modern hero” Mahatma Gandhi. He said that according to Gandhi, “we should think about even that future world which we will not be able to see”.

“70 years back, when the horrific second World War came to an end, this organisation came into being, raising hopes of people around the world. We have gathered here to decide a new direction,” said PM Modi while referring to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 adopted by the UNGA.

The summit drew up a blueprint of its goals for the next 15 years. And PM Modi claimed that much of India’s development agenda is mirrored in the development goals 2030. He listed programmes and schemes rolled out by his government for financial inclusion, poverty alleviation, healthcare, education and women empowerment.

“Our national plans to ensure sustainable development are purposeful and ambitious,” PM Modi said.

He said his government in India is working in a “mission mode” to ensure financial inclusion in set timeframe.

According to him, eradication of poverty must remain the biggest responsibility. Without removing poverty, world peace, just systems and sustainable development cannot be possible, said PM Modi.

“We are working on financial inclusion in a very big way,” Modi said and mentioned programmes like Jandhan bank accounts and pension schemes launched by his government.

He noted that India sees the world as one family and that the globe is connected and dependent on one other.

“Our international partnerships need to be centered on progress of humanity,” Modi added.

He also claimed that global challenges like climate change and sustainable development are the collective responsibility of all nations.

“Since we attained freedom, we have focused on ending poverty. Education and skill development are priorities for us… The world must be free from poverty and development must be sustainable,” PM Modi said in his eighteen-minute long speech in Hindi.

(With inputs from PTI)