Afghanistan to Covid origin, Modi questions UN relevance

Says ‘regressive’ nations using terror as political tool

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday indirectly hit out at China while questioning the credibility of multilateral institutions and called for their reforms before they became irrelevant.

Also Read: India, US denounce cross-border terror

Narendra Modi, PM

Highlights India’s democratic credentials

A boy who helped his father at the railway station today delivering his fourth UNGA address shows the strength of Indian democracy.

Delivering his fourth address as Prime Minister at the UNGA, Modi highlighted the inability of the WHO to find the origin of Covid-19 and the World Bank’s junking of its ease of doing business index as China influenced the rankings. He called for improving the effectiveness and reliability of the UN and its organs.

Their ineffectiveness during the climate and the Afghan crises had deepened these issues, he said, in one of the sharpest calls by the PM for reforms in the UN and the UNSC. The PM highlighted India’s democratic credentials. Citing his own example, he said: “A little boy who would help his father at the railway station is today addressing the UNGA for the fourth time as PM.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday indirectly hit out at China while questioning the credibility of multilateral institutions and called for their reforms before they became irrelevant.

Pointing out that he had been the longest-serving CM of Gujarat and had then spent seven years as PM, he said, “I can say from experience that yes democracy can deliver, yes democracy has delivered.” The PM invoked the “integral humanism” of Deendayal Upadhyaya on his birth anniversary. The PM said it was essential that terrorists were denied the use of Afghanistan’s territory. “The world also needs to ensure no country tries to take advantage of the situation in Afghanistan. At this time, the people of Afghanistan, women, children and minorities need help. We must fulfil our duty by providing them help,” he observed.

The PM drew a contrast between India, trying to strengthen a science-based approach, and some countries with regressive thinking using terrorism as a political tool. In a veiled attack on Pakistan, he said nations using terrorism as a political tool must understand that it was an “equally big threat” for them too.

He wanted the international community to speak in one voice for strengthening a world order based on rules to protect the oceans from the “race for expansion”.

India, he said, had started work on making the country the world’s largest green hydrogen hub and had developed the world’s first DNA vaccine for children. An mRNA vaccine was in the final stages. Indian scientists were also developing a nasal vaccine against Covid-19, he said, inviting vaccine manufacturers from across the world to make vaccines in India.

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