Prime Minister Narendra Modi has outlined key goals for the United Nations in a letter to the heads of its member states to mark the 70th anniversary of the world body. From poverty to climate change and terrorism, he has spoken about what the UN can do to bring about wide-ranging changes in the way it deals with these issues and problems. He has also highlighted the pressing need to reform the UN Security Council.
Here are five key takeaways from the letter:
Modi believes eliminating poverty by 2030 should be at the heart of the UN’s post-2015 development agenda. Poverty must be tackled through “direct, urgent and sustained interventions”, he wrote. Addressing the needs and concerns of 1.3 billion poor people across the world is a vital necessity for enduring peaceful and a sustainable and just international order. This can be done through enhanced access to technology and finance for the developing world and adopting innovative approaches.
2. Climate change:
The Prime Minister described climate change as one of the most formidable global challenges and said nations are already facing its consequences. The UN climate change conference in Paris in November-December “must craft a global agreement, in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, to limit the rise in earth’s temperature”, he wrote. Developing nations must be given finance and technology so that they can mitigate climate change.
Modi said the UN must “use this historic year to jointly send an unambiguous message of zero tolerance against terrorism”. The world body must be made more effective for dealing with new security challenges in an era when non-state military actors are a major factor. Terrorism has acquired a new dimension because of expanded geographical spread, vast resources and new instruments to draw recruits, and this must be countered with a comprehensive global strategy.
4. UN Security Council reforms
: Describing the Security Council as the “product of circumstances of a bygone era”, Modi said the body must reflect the realities and needs of the 21st century. Making a strong pitch for India’s inclusion in the body, he said: “A Security Council that includes the world’s largest democracy, major locomotives of the global economy, and voices from all the major continents, will carry greater credibility and legitimacy...” TheUN General Assembly must close endless debates and set a timeframe for the long needed reforms in the Security Council.
5. International Yoga Day:
Modi said the observance of Yoga Day on June 21 demonstrated the world community’s ability to look beyond “narrow boundaries to pursue our greater good and seek solutions together to the challenges of our times”.
Exclusive excerpts from PM Modi's letter