File image of PM Narendra Modi, who addressed the UN General Assembly Friday | ANI
File image of PM Narendra Modi | ANI
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday made a strong pitch for reforms at the United Nations and questioned for how long India will be “kept out of the decision-making structures of the United Nations”.

Addressing the 75th UN General Assembly’s General Debate virtually, Modi said while the UN enjoys “faith and respect” in India, it is also true that Indians “have been waiting for a long time for the process for the reforms of the United Nations to get completed. Today, people of India are concerned whether this reform-process will ever reach its logical conclusion”.

Modi also said India will continue to raise its voice against terrorism, drugs and money-laundering.

He further said that it is time the UN does “serious introspection” of its work as there have been several wars that are being fought around the globe and terrorist attacks have shaken up the world.

“There are also several instances that point to the need for a serious introspection of the work of the United Nations. One could say that we have successfully avoided a third World War. But we cannot deny that there have been several wars and many more civil wars. Several terrorist attacks shook the world and rivers of blood have continued to flow by,” he said. 

Batting for a major overhaul of the UN and for a permanent seat at the high chair of the UN Security Council, the PM said the world of 1945 was “significantly different” from today’s world and thus the need for reform is more urgent.

“Today we are in a completely different era. In the 21st century, the requirements and challenges of our present as well as our future are vastly different from those of the past… With the changing times, if we don’t change, then the drive needed to bring the change will also get weakened,” he said.

Modi said India has taken a number of initiatives to do what is needed to become one of the permanent members of the UNSC, be it the ‘International Day of Yoga’ or the ‘International Solar Alliance’ or its ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ — all are aimed at interests of mankind and not for its own self-interest.

“When we were strong, we were never a threat to the world, when we were weak, we never became a burden on the world. How long would a country have to wait particularly when the transformational changes happening in that country affect a large part of the world?” he asked.


Also Read: China downplays Russia backing India’s bid for UNSC permanent membership, says no consensus


‘India will continue to raise voice against terrorism’

PM Modi in his address also said that India will continue to raise “its voice against the enemies of humanity” such as terrorism, smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money-laundering.

He said this will be one of the main focus areas for India even as it gears up to become a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a period of two years from January 2021.

“Our way forward is to proceed from human welfare to the welfare of the world. India will always speak in support of peace, security and prosperity. India will not hesitate in raising its voice against the enemies of humanity, human race and human values — these include terrorism, smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money-laundering,” he said.

“India will always speak in support of peace, security and prosperity,” he added.


Also Read: Countering terror will be the focus in India’s eighth stint as UNSC non-permanent member


Modi gives assurance on Covid vaccine 

Reiterating India’s assistance to over 150 countries with medicines and medical devices during the coronavirus pandemic, Modi said as the world’s largest vaccine producing country, he will give the world another “assurance” on Covid vaccine.

“India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. We are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials in India and in our neighbourhood,” he said.

“India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of the vaccines.”

‘Reform-Perform-Transform’ 

Modi said India has also taken several steps to “bring about transformation in the lives of millions of its citizens” by following the “mantra of Reform-Perform-Transform”.

“In just about 4-5 years, India has brought over 400 million people into the formal financial sector. This was not an easy task. But India has proved that it can be done. In just about 4-5 years, 600 million people have been freed from open defecation. This was not an easy task,” he said.

Promoting the concept of a ‘Self-reliant India’ or ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, Modi said: “A Self-reliant India will also be a Force Multiplier for the Global Economy.


Also Read: India never had an offer to become permanent UNSC member — this is a fact


 

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