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At UNGA, PM Modi sends tough message to Pakistan, asks for collective voice against expansionism

PM Modi at UNGA: Highlighting India's achievements in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), PM Modi said in his UNGA address, "India has developed world's first DNA vaccine for Covid-19 which can be administered to everyone above the age of 12."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.(AFP Photo)
Published on Sep 25, 2021 07:24 PM IST
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Saturday in which he paid condolences to families of those who lost their lives in Covid-19 and called for the UN to stay relevant.

Without directly naming Pakistan, the Prime Minister also said that countries using terrorism as political tool need to understand that it is an equally big threat to them.

Watch PM Modi's full speech at UNGA:

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"India is a great example of a vibrant democracy. The strength of our democracy is demonstrated by the fact that a little boy, who was helping his father at a tea stall in India, is addressing the UNGA for the fourth time as Prime Minister of India," PM Modi said.

He said that India is making great strides on the path of development. "We believe in a development process which is all-pervasive, universal and one that nurtures all," said the Prime Minister.

Highlighting India's achievements in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), PM Modi said, "India has developed world's first DNA vaccine for Covid-19 which can be administered to everyone above the age of 12."

He further said that Indian scientists are also developing a nasal vaccine for Covid-19.

The Prime Minister then turned his focus on terrorism and extremism, which he said are threatening the world. "Regressive thinking and extremism are increasingly threatening the world. In these circumstances, the entire world will have to make science-based rational and progressive thinking the basis of their development programmes."

He also said that it is very important to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism and for terror attacks.

Also Read | Top 10 quotes from PM Modi's UNGA speech

Making a veiled attack on China, PM Modi said that the resources available in the oceans are meant to be used and not abused.

"We have to protect our oceans are lifeline of international trade. We have to protect them from race for expansionism and exclusion. The world will have to raise collective voice against such moves for a rule-based world order," said PM Modi. His comments were in reference to China's expansion efforts in the South China Sea, which have led to many regional disputes.

The Prime Minister had some advice for the United Nations as well, which has come under criticism from many countries for not adapting to changing times. He quoted famous Indian philosopher Chanakya to say “when the right work is not done at the right time, time itself destroys the success of that work”. Former US President Donald Trump had called the UN an organisation where people "just talk and have a good time".

“If the UN has to keep itself relevant, it has to improve its effectiveness and increase its reliability,” said PM Modi.

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 people, and revitalise the United Nations.'

The high-level segment of the 76th UNGA began in New York on Tuesday. The UNGA meeting this year is in a hybrid format but a large number of leaders have arrived in New York.

Modi arrived in Washington on Wednesday for a three-day visit to the United States, his first beyond neighbourhood since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before addressing the UNGA, the Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. He also met his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga. PM Modi also participated in the first in-person Quad Summit in Washington after Covid-19.

He also held meetings with five global CEOs for potential investment in India on Thursday.

PM Modi will be wrapping up his visit today.

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