United Nations: If the UN wants to remain relevant, it will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, underlining the need to strengthen the world body to safeguard global order, laws, and values.
Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly here, the prime minister quoted great Indian diplomat Chanakya’s words “when the right action is not taken at the right time, then it is time itself that causes the action to fail” to push his view.
“If the United Nations wants to remain relevant. It will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability,” he said.
Modi said that today, all kinds of questions have been raised about the UN.
“We have seen such questions being raised, related to the climate crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Criticism over handling of pandemic
The World Health Organisation, the UN’s health agency, has faced criticism since the Covid-19 outbreak first surfaced in China in December 2019. WHO faced criticism for mishandling the crisis.
Former US President Donald Trump slammed the WHO as a “puppet” of China and accused it of covering up the start of the outbreak and allowing the virus to spread around the entire world.
“The proxy war going on in many parts of the world, terrorism and the recent crisis in Afghanistan have further highlighted the seriousness of these questions,” the Prime Minister said.
“With regard to the origin of COVID-19 and the ease of doing business rankings, institutions of global governance have damaged the credibility they had built after decades of hard work,” he said.
The World Bank recently said it is discontinuing its flagship Doing Business publication, citing data irregularities in recent editions of the global business climate index.
The decision was taken after a probe of data irregularities allegedly due to pressure by some top bank officials to boost China’s ranking in 2017 came to light.
“It is essential that we constantly strengthen the UN, in order to safeguard global order, global laws and global values,” Modi said.
India — ‘mother of democracy’
The prime minister also said that he represents a country that is proud to be known as the mother of democracy and cited his own rise from a tea seller at a railway station to that as prime minister to underscore the strength of India’s democracy.
Addressing the high-level United Nations General Assembly session here, Modi said: We have had a great tradition of democracy that goes back to thousands of years.
I represent a country that is proud to be known as the mother of democracy. On the 15th of August this year, India entered into the 75th year of its independence, he said.
Our diversity is the identity of our strong democracy, he said.
It is a country that has dozens of languages, hundreds of dialects, different lifestyles and cuisines. This is the best example of a vibrant democracy, Prime Minister Modi said.
The strength of our democracy is demonstrated by the fact that a little boy who at one time used to help his father at his tea stall at a railway station is today addressing the United Nations General Assembly for the fourth time as prime minister of India, he said.
I will soon have spent 20 years serving my countrymen as head of government. First, as the longest-serving Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as the Prime Minister for the last seven years, Modi said, adding that democracy has delivered.—PTI