New York: India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations TS Tirumurti on Monday (Septemmber 20) said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the most awaited among the world leaders on September 25. In an exclusive interview with ANI about the possible agendas to be discussed by PM Modi at UNGA, he said, “PM Modi`s speech is one of the most awaited among the world leaders. He has always addressed some of the core issues confronting the world, and those of importance and concern to us in India, including some of our achievements on the domestic front.”
“As you know Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the General Debate of the high-level segment of the 76th session of UNGA on September 25th morning. The theme for this year’s General Debate is “Building resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, Rebuild sustainably, Respond to the needs of the planet, Respect the rights of the people and Revitalize the United Nations,” added the Indian envoy.
The 76th session of UNGA commenced on September 14 and the high-level meet will be starting tomorrow (Sept 22). This is far from normal UNGA sessions as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a shadow on this important annual gathering of world leaders. As per Tirumurti, “There is a slight improvement in the pandemic situation in the US and also the vaccination measures which has been undertaken. This has allowed the UN to organise the 76th UNGA in a hybrid format.”
He said that apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, its humanitarian impact, other issues may dominate the 76th UNGA like the global economic slowdown, and financing for development, terrorism and related issues, climate change, ongoing conflicts going internationally, recent developments in Afghanistan, UNSC reform etc.
Talking about the importance of India addressing the UNGA at this crucial juncture, Tirumurti said, “There is an expectation that India as a leading voice for developing world as well as the member of Security Council will use its voice to take up global issues such as climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, equitable and affordable access to vaccines, poverty eradication and economic recovery, women`s empowerment and their participation in government structures, combating terrorism, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, UNSC reforms etc.
Tirumurti further reiterated that India has done so before and we will continue to do so in future. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United States this week to attend the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit and address the UN general debate. He will also have a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden. This will be PM Modi’s second visit abroad since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. His first such visit was to Bangladesh earlier this year.