PM Modi set to address UNGA session today, focus on ‘pressing global challenges’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and focus on the “pressing global challenges”, including the coronavirus pandemic, terrorism and climate change among other important issues. Modi flew to New York from Washington after holding his first bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden in the White House and attending his first in-person Quad Summit on Friday. "After a series of meetings in Washington DC, PM @narendramodi emplanes for New York City. He will be addressing the UNGA session there," the Prime Minister's Office said in a tweet.
PM Modi will address the general debate of the 76th session of the UNGA and the theme for this year 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’. He last addressed the UN General Assembly session in 2019.
PM Modi's speech at UNGA ‘most awaited’
India's permanent representative to United Nations TS Tirumurti said on Monday PM Modi's speech at UNGA is “one of the most awaited among the world leaders.” "He has always addressed some of the core issues confronting the world, and those of importance and concern to us in India, including some of our achievements on the domestic front,” Tirumurti told ANI in an interview.
Apart from the pandemic and its humanitarian impact, Tirumurti said other issues like the global economic slowdown and financing for development, terrorism and related issues, climate change, ongoing conflicts going internationally, recent developments in Afghanistan, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform etc may dominate the UNGA.
"There is an expectation that India as a leading voice for developing world as well as the member of Security Council will use its voice to take up global issues such as climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, equitable and affordable access to vaccines, poverty eradication and economic recovery, women's empowerment and their participation in government structures, combating terrorism, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, UNSC reforms etc,” he said.
Tirumurti reiterated that India has done so before and will continue to do so in future.
About 109 heads of state and government will address the general debate in person and nearly 60 will deliver speeches through pre-recorded video statements, according to the second provisional list of speakers for the UNGA. Last year in September, world leaders submitted pre-recorded video statements for the United Nations General Assembly session they could not physically attend the annual gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time in the UN’s 75-year history that the high-level session had gone virtual. The option has been kept open for the world leaders to send in pre-recorded statements this year as well amid the raging pandemic.
PM Modi arrived in Washington for a three-day visit to the country on Wednesday, his first beyond neighbourhood since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with US President Biden and vice president Kamala Harris. He also met his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga. PM Modi, Morrison and Suga also attended the meeting of Quad leaders hosted by President Biden in the US capital. He also held meetings with five global CEOs for potential investment in India on Thursday.