Setting the tone for serious debate on key global issues like tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and warning the global community of the threats posed by terrorism and expansionism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took on China and Pakistan, saying there is no place for expansionism.
In his much-awaited address to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, PM Modi delivered a strong message to India’s northern and western neighbours, asserting that countries with regressive thinking are using terrorism as a political tool need to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat for them.
“It has to be ensured that Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism or launch terror attacks from its soil,” he told the UNGA.
Expressing concern at the plight of women and minorities in Afghanistan where the Taliban regime has taken over, he said that people in Afghanistan need the help of the world community.
In his strategic message aimed at China, PM Modi said: “Our oceans are also the lifeline of international trade. We must protect them from the race for expansion. The international community must speak in one voice to strengthen rule-based world order.”
In his nearly half-an-hour comprehensive speech, PM Modi not only touched upon extremism, regressive thinking but also showcased his government’s achievements and strides made by India in science and technology, development programmes, financial inclusion, clean energy and water and vaccine manufacturing.
Beginning his speech with concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi was applauded when he openly invited vaccine makers of the world to manufacture vaccines in India to help tackle the pandemic that has caused widespread misery and millions of deaths across the globe.
“In the last 1.5 years, the entire world has been facing the worst pandemic in 100 years, I pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in this deadly pandemic,” he told the UNGA.
Harping on the strengths of democracy, he said: “Democracy can deliver, Yes democracy has delivered.” Pointing out that every sixth person in the world is an Indian, he said: “When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms. Development should be all-inclusive. Universal and one that nurtures all.”
“On 15th August this year, India entered the 75th year of Independence. Our diversity is the identity of our strong democracy,” he said. Describing India as a vibrant democracy and mother of democracies, he said it is the strength of democracy that a tea-seller was addressing the UNGA for the fourth time.
PM Modi was the first world leader to address the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
On the occasion of 75 years of independence, India is going to launch 75 satellites into space made by Indian students, he said adding that India has also developed the first DNA vaccine in the country that can be administered to anyone above the age of 12 and the development of mRNA based vaccine to check Coronavirus spread was in the last stages.
“The Corona pandemic has taught the world that the global economy be further diversified. That is why the expansion of global value chains is very important. Our ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ is inspired by this sentiment,” he told the UNGA.
During his speech in Hindi, listened to by the general assembly in rapt attention, PM Modi drew applause when he concluded his speech invoking Nobel laureate Gurudev Ravindranath Tagore’s famous lines for fearlessly pursuing the path of good deeds.