India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations TS Tirumurti on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is one of the most awaited among the world leaders on September 25.
In an exclusive interview with ANI about the possible agendas to be discussed by PM Modi at UNGA, he said, “PM Modi’s speech is one of the most awaited among the world leaders. He has always addressed some of the core issues confronting the world, and those of importance and concern to us in India, including some of our achievements on the domestic front.” “As you know Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the General Debate of the high-level segment of the 76th session of UNGA on September 25th morning. The theme for this year’s General Debate is “Building resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, Rebuild sustainably, Respond to the needs of the planet, Respect the rights of the people and Revitalize the United Nations,” added the Indian envoy.
The 76th session of UNGA commenced on September 14 and the high-level meet will be starting tomorrow. This is far from normal UNGA sessions as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a shadow on this important annual gathering of world leaders. As per Tirumurti, “There is a slight improvement in the pandemic situation in the US and also the vaccination measures which has been undertaken. This has allowed the UN to organise the 76th UNGA in a hybrid format.”
He said that apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, its humanitarian impact, other issues may dominate the 76th UNGA like the global economic slowdown, and financing for development, terrorism and related issues, climate change, ongoing conflicts going internationally, recent developments in Afghanistan, UNSC reform etc.
India is leading voice of developing world, UNSC members: Tirumurti
Talking about the importance of India addressing the UNGA at this crucial juncture, Tirumurti said, “There is an expectation that India as a leading voice for developing world as well as the member of Security Council will use its voice to take up global issues such as climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, equitable and affordable access to vaccines, poverty eradication and economic recovery, women’s empowerment and their participation in government structures, combating terrorism, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, UNSC reforms etc. Tirumurti further reiterated that India has done so before and we will continue to do so in future.
India at forefront to push for joint, collective effort to combat terrorism, says Tirumurti
Tirumurti further said, “As regards terrorism, India has always been at the forefront to push for a joint and collective effort to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We by having played an active role in shaping global counter-terrorism strategy.” The worsening situation in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover has drawn global attention and as per Tirumurti, the issues relating to terrorism will be extremely important at UNGA. “On Afghanistan, our Prime Minister has already made our stand very clear in his recent address to the SCO summit last week,” said the Indian envoy.
Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Outreach Summit on Afghanistan, the Prime Minister drew attention to issues related to the developments in Afghanistan, noting that the power change in Afghanistan is not inclusive and has taken place without negotiations. “Prime Minister dealt with some very specific issues relating to the non-inclusive non negotiated transition of power. He emphasized the presentation of all sections, including women and minorities,” said Tirumurti.
Drawing the attention of SCO member countries towards the possibility of an increase in the uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal arms and human trafficking, PM Modi had said that to monitor these flows and to increase information sharing, SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) mechanism can play a positive role. “Afghanistan is facing a serious humanitarian crisis due to the impact of fundamentalism and instability on terrorism, extremist ideologies, increasing radicalization, uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal weapons and human trafficking,” said Tirumurti.
He also talked about Resolution 2593 that was passed by the UNSC under the presidency of India on August 30, 2021, with Russia and China abstaining from voting. This resolution demands that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to finance terrorist acts. “We have also had an important resolution, as you know, this was a resolution passed in the UN Security Council on August 30, under our presidency, and this in many ways it’s the benchmark for the situation in Afghanistan. And we also see a central role for the United Nations in this context, even for the international community to come and address them jointly and effectively,” added Tirumurti.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United States this week to attend the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit and address the UN general debate.
He will also have a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden. This will be PM Modi’s second visit abroad since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. His first such visit was to Bangladesh earlier this year.
(With ANI Inputs)