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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Sushma Swaraj at UN Highlights: Pakistan must look within, she says; Modi tweets about her ‘incredible’ speech

India targeted Pakistan for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy, describing the country as an export factory of terror.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2017 22:13 IST
New York
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the United Nations General Assembly.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the United Nations General Assembly.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday. Speaking in Hindi, Swaraj listed out the initiatives brought about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

From the Goods and Services Tax to the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ and gas cylinder scheme for women, Sushma focused on the steps India has taken, saying that the country had managed to do the impossible with demonetisation.

India also targeted Pakistan for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy, describing the country as an “export factory of terror” that had spurned the hand of friendship extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This is the 65-year-old minister’s second consecutive address in the assembly.

Updates from the session:

9:42pm: Modi reiterates Swaraj’s message on terrorism.

9:41pm: Prime Minister Modi congratulates Swaraj for “making India proud”.

9:15pm: Sushma Swaraj concludes her speech but the General Assembly session continues as other world leaders speak.

9:14pm: Sushma Swaraj recites a Sanskrit verse: May all be happy; May all be healthy; May all see what is good; May all be free from suffering.


9:13pm: Early reform of the Security Council is an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations: Swaraj. “Efforts at text-based negotiations on the reform and expansion of the Security Council were initiated in the last session and more than 160 nations had expressed support for this effort. If we are serious, then the least we can do is produce one text that can be the basis for negotiation.”

9:12pm: "The challenge posed by climate change requires more serious action than talk and asked the leaders of the developed world to help the less fortunate ones through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing,” says Sushma.

9:10pm: “Nature sent its warning to the world. Once our gathering began, an earthquake struck Mexico. We are seeing tribulations across the world.”

9:08pm: If the UNSC cannot agree on listing terrorists, how can we fight terrorism together: Swaraj.

9:07pm: Swaraj stresses that we must all introspect and ask ourselves whether our talk is anywhere close to the action we take.

9:06pm:“Evil is evil. Let us accept that terrorism is an existentialist danger to humankind. There is absolutely no justification for this barbaric violence,” says Sushma Swaraj.

9:05pm: We created doctors, engineers.. what did Pakistan create? Terrorists. They set up LeT, JeM, Haqqani Network, Hizbul Mujahiddeen: External affairs minister at the UN.

9:03pm: “PM Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship. Pakistan’s Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer,” the minister says at the UN.

9:02pm: We are completely engaged in fighting poverty but our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us: Sushma Swaraj.


9:00pm: Sushma Swaraj says all programmes being run by us are to empower the poor people like Digital India, Start Up India, Stand Up India.

8:59pm: “India has displayed courage and leadership to take tough decisions which have launched interlinked process of sustainable development,” says the external affairs minister.

8:58pm: PM Modi is turning job seekers into job providers: Swaraj.

8:57pm: Terrorism is spreading like fire, need to take tough decisions with courage: Union minister Sushma Swaraj.

8:55pm: “Terrorism is spreading. Climate change also threatens us. Nuclear proliferation is back in the headlines,” says Swaraj.

8:53pm: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj begins addressing the assembly.


8:42pm: At least 27 lives in all have been lost around the Caribbean, including 15 on hard-hit Dominica, an island nation of 71,000 inhabitants, due to Hurricane Maria.

8:40pm: “To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks,” says Skerrit.

8:35pm: Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit addresses the assembly. “Heat is the fuel that ticks ordinary storms and charges them into a devastating force. In the past, we prepared for one storm every year. Now, thousands of storms pound on many nations.”

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

8:30pm: We have been denied basic medicines due to sanctions imposed on Syria by certain countries... It shows the hypocrisy of some countries who cry over deaths of Syrians: Syria deputy PM.

8:27pm: Syria’s foreign minister says victory is within reach in the country and that Damascus hoped de-escalation zones will help Syria reach a cessation of hostilities.

8:26pm: “Cannot understand the silence of international communities over the crimes committed by the Islamic State,” the Syrian official says.

8:25pm: On de-escalation zones, the Syrian foreign minister says the country reserves the right to respond to any violation.

8:16pm: Syria will scale reconciliation efforts to eliminate suffering of Syrians and restore normalcy: Syrian deputy PM.

8:15pm: Syria is determined, more than ever, to eradicate terrorism, the Syrian official says.

8:12pm: There is a need to create a more sovereign and secure world, says Muallem.

Syrian deputy Prime Minister Walid Muallem.
Syrian deputy Prime Minister Walid Muallem.

8:10pm: Syrian Arab Republic Deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Walid Muallem addresses the assembly.

8:05pm: The Papua New Guinea PM talks about dislocation of people from their houses and communities. “We are facing a refugee crisis, people are being pushed out of their own homes. We need a sensible and humane approach for mobility of people. They should be free to travel and settle when they have been pushed out of their own countries.”

8:02pm: “Climate change is real. It has taken lives and destroyed communities. The recent hurricanes are just another example of some extreme conditions that concern us all. The loss of lives should be a wake up call for all of us,” says Paire O’Neill.

8:00pm: Papua New Guinea PM condemns North Korea nuclear missile test. “It is a direct threat to millions of innocent lives. We call for a peaceful resolution through a political dialogue.”

7:56pm: Papua New Guinea PM says challenges like uncertain global economy, climate change and security fears need to be addressed.

7:55pm: Peter Paire O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, addresses the general assembly.

7:45pm: Sushma Swaraj is listed eighth in the list of speakers.

7:30pm: Nepal prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the fourth speaker at the assembly, begins his address. The annual general debate of the United Nations General Assembly is the occasion for world leaders to gather at UN headquarters to discuss global issues.

7:15pm: Swaraj attended 12 multilaterals and two trilateral meetings so far during her visit.


7:10pm: On Friday, Swaraj had only one bilateral meeting with US secretary of state Rex Tillerson during which she raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B.

7pm: Sushma Swaraj is expected to deliver her speech in Hindi as she did last year.

First Published: Sep 23, 2017 19:14 IST

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