Indian PM Narendra Modi to address UN General Assembly on Sept 25
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25 as the first speaker of the day.
Narendra Modi last addressed the UNGA in-person 2019 as the 2020 meetings were held virtually amidst a raging Covid-19 pandemic, that had hit the New York state and city the hardest in the United States at the time turning them into ground zero of the worst public health crisis, faced by the world in more than 100 years.
Narendra Modi will arrive in New York late on September 24 after what is likely to be a hectic schedule of meetings in Washington DC, where he will join Australia’s Scott Morrison and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga for the first in-person summit of the Quad group of countries being hosted by US President Joe Biden at the White House. They had last met in March, but virtually.
Modi is also expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Joe Biden and meet vice-president Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American to hold America’s second highest political office.
These will be Narenda Modi’s first in-person meetings with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He had met Joe Biden before, on his first visit to the US as prime minister in 2014. Joe Biden was vice-president at the time, in the administration of President Barack Obama. Narendra Modi and Kamala Harris have never met, but have spoken on phone before.
The prime minister’s engagements in New York are still being worked out though he is expected to leave for India just hours after his speech on September 25. His remaining schedule for the rest of the day is unlikely to be as expansive and busy as in previous years, which would be packed with bilateral meetings with counterparts from around the world and sessions with business leaders, American politicians and the diaspora.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is arriving in New York on Monday for a series of UN and related meetings, including those that are held almost every year on the sidelines of the general assembly, such as the G-4. India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, are seeking permanent seats in an expanded UN Security Council in long overdue reforms of the world body.
S Jaishankar will also participate in a meeting of the foreign ministers of the G-20 countries on Afghanistan. Both the G-4 and G-20 meetings are scheduled for September 22.