PM Modi questions UN's relevance in UNGA address, calls for reforms

Points to WHO’s inability to find the origin of SARS CoV-2; UN’s ineffective dealing of climate change challenges, Afghan crisis; World Bank’s junking of ease of doing business index

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.

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

Their ineffectiveness during the climate and the Afghan crises has deepened these issues, he said in one of the sharpest calls by the PM for reforms in the UN and the UNSC.

The Prime Minister frequently highlighted India’s democratic credentials and citing his own example, said its strength was demonstrated when “a little boy who would help his father at the railway station to today addressing the UNGA for the fourth time as PM of India.  Pointing out that he was the longest-serving Chief Minister 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.’’

On his birth anniversary, PM Modi invoked the “integral humanism’’ of Deen Daya Upadhyay and after a brief description, said the philosophy’s end goal of a ‘democratic set up that nurtures all’ should be the world’s priority. The PM also recounted India’s social sector initiative using digital tools.

Turning to the external world, the PM said it was absolutely essential that terrorists are denied use of Afghanistan’s territory. The world also needs to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and uses it for its vested interests.

“At this time, people of Afghanistan, women and children, minorities need help. We must fulfill our duties by providing them with help,’’ he observed.

The PM drew a contrast between India, which is driven by progressive thinking, trying to strengthen a science-based approach, and some countries with regressive thinking that are using terrorism as a political tool.

He wanted the international community to speak in one voice for strengthening a rule-based world order to protect the oceans from the “race for expansion’’.

India has also started work on making the country the world’s largest green hydrogen hub and has developed the world’s first DNA vaccine for children. An mRNA vaccine is in the final stages of development. Indian scientists are also developing a nasal vaccine against Covid, he informed while inviting vaccine manufacturers from across the world to make vaccines in India.

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