Was UN's response effective in handling pandemic, asks PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today delivered a virtual address at the United Nations General Assembly. During the address, he highlighted the coronavirus pandemic and raised pertinent questions about the response of United Nations in fighting the pandemic. "Over the last 8-9 months, the world has been battling the coronavirus pandemic. Where is the UN in this joint fight against the pandemic," he asked.
"How long will India be kept out of decision-making?"
"When we [India] were weak, we didn't trouble the world. When we became strong, we didn't become a bojh (burden) on the world," PM Modi asserted. "For how long will India be kept out of the decision-making structures of the United Nations? Till when do we have to wait? The ideals of UN and the India's main principles are similar," he further added.
You can watch his address here
India sent medicines to 150 countries during pandemic: PM Modi
PM Modi highlighted that India sent its troops to about 15 countries for peacekeeping missions. He also pointed out India's role as the world's largest vaccine producing country. He said the country's pharmaceutical industry has sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. "India's voice will always rise for peace, security, and prosperity," he added.
"Will speak in favor of peace, security and prosperity"
PM Modi added India looks forward to "fulfilling its responsibility" as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. "India will always speak in support of peace, security and prosperity."
"Will make India self-reliant after the pandemic"
PM Modi said India provided banking services to more than 400 million people in the past 4-5 years. He added 600 million people became free from open defecation. He also talked about a planned campaign to deliver drinking water from pipes to 150 million homes in Indian villages. PM Modi also highlighted the plan to make India "self-reliant" after the pandemic.
He spoke about rights of women and the transgender community
PM Modi said there are large-scale efforts in India to promote women entrepreneurship. "Today, women of India are taking the most benefit of the world's largest micro financing schemes. India is one of the countries where women are being given 26 weeks of paid maternity leave." He asserted that the rights of the transgender community are being secured through "necessary legal reforms."
"Hope UN will work to maintain relevance of the institution"
"In its journey toward progress, India wants to learn from the world as well as share its own experiences with the world," PM Modi said. "I am confident that on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, the United Nations and its member countries will endeavor with a strong commitment to maintain the relevance of this great institution," he concluded.
UNGA being held virtually this year
Notably, the 2020 UN General Assembly is being held virtually, with most world leaders delivering their speeches in a pre-recorded video form. The Assembly debate is held annually at United Nations office in New York, United States. This year marks the 75th session of the UNGA, which was commenced in 1945, following the end of the second World War.