PM Modi calls for ‘new type of human-centric globalisation’ at UN event
In his Friday address, PM Modi recalled India’s support to the ECOSOC and the UN’s developmental work, and how they are tied to India’s own domestic agenda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday pressed member states of the United Nations to use the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to reform the global multilateral system to enhance its relevance and effectiveness to make it the basis for a “new type of human-centric globalisation”.
The United Nations was born 75 years ago to deal with the “furies” of the Second World War, the prime minister said addressing a high-level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council. “Today the fury of the pandemic provides the context for its rebirth and reform. Let us not lose this chance.”
As an incoming member of the UN Security Council, India will play its role in full support of the UN agenda, “with our deep commitment to maintaining global harmony, to improving socio-economic equity, and to preserving nature’s balance”, the prime minister in his virtual speech in English.
This was the first time Modi had addressed UN members after India’s thumping victory in the June 17 election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two-year term starting next January. India will get into the UNSC loop for documents and papers starting August, purely in an observer capacity to prepare it for its upcoming term.
India has called for reforming the global multilateral system to reflect the changed realities of the contemporary world. It has campaigned for the reform of the UN Security Council to expand its permanent membership with a seat for itself. And it has also sought the reform of the IMF and other global bodies to make them more contemporaneous.
“Today, while celebrating 75 years of the United Nations, let us pledge to reform the global multilateral system to enhance its relevance, to improve its effectiveness to make it the basis for a new type of human-centric globalisation,” Prime Minister Modi said renewing India’s call for reforms with an added emphasis on people, to make them more “human-centric”.
The theme of the High-Level Segment of the ECOSOC, on the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the UN, was ”Multilateralism after COVID19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary”. It was in tune with India’s continued for the reform of the UN system and priorities for the upcoming term at the Security Council: ’reformed multilateralism’ in a post-COVID-19 world.
India had held the inaugural Presidency of ECOSOC (Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, in 1946), and Prime Minister Modi had delivered the keynote address virtually at the 70th anniversary of ECOSOC in January 2016.
In his Friday address, PM Modi recalled India’s support to the ECOSOC and the UN’s developmental work, and how they are tied to India’s own domestic agenda. “Today, through our domestic efforts, we are again playing a salient role in achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. India is also supporting other developing countries in meeting their Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
The prime minster went on to say, India’s motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwas” resonated, for instance, with the core SDG principle of leaving no one behind. And he spoke at length efforts made in India to expand access to sanitation, bring about gender parity in elementary and higher education, and empowering women through financial inclusion.
Modi said it was India health care system that had helped it fight the Covid-19 epidemic. India had the best recovery rate in the world, as a result, he added.
On fighting climate change, the prime minister spoke of India cutting 38 million tonnes of carbon emission annually and went on to highlight its role in the setting up of the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
Modi also spoke about India’s role in the region as a “first responder”. India has extended medical and other assistance to over 150 countries in the fight against Covid, and had set up a SAARC Covid emergency fund for the neighbourhood.