UN needs reform in responses, processes and character: PM Modi
29 September 2020
The United Nations of 1945 is too inadequate to address the problems and challenges of the present day world and the assembly of 192 nations has failed to raise its collective voice against the enemies of humanity and human values, including terrorism, smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money-
laundering and the latest scourge of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
The requirements and challenges of our present as well as our future are vastly different from those of the past and so the sources and resources, problems and solutions are all quite different from those of the 20th Century, he said.
To be relevant in today’s world, he said, the United Nations should have wider representation in key decision-making agencies. The form and composition of the Security Council as well as the development institutions like the IMF and the World Bank should reflect the aspirations of the millions that live in nations that are still considered second class members in the global platform, Modi said.
There is a serious need for the United Nations to introspect – it does not represent the voice of 184 nations out of the 193 members, but goes by the demands of one nation that has permanent representation in the UN Security Council.
While India is proud of the fact that it is one of the founding members of the United Nations, its 1.3 billion people representing 18 per cent of the global population is not fully represented in the global platform, Modi pointed out.
And this, he said, calls for a drastic change in the form and composition of the institution established with the aim of global welfare to be relevant in the prevailing situation.
If century changes and we don’t, then strength to bring changes becomes weak. If we assess the last 75 years of the United Nations, we see several achievements, but at the same time, there are also several instances where the global platform was found wanting.
“One could say that we have successfully avoided a third world war, but we cannot deny that there have been several wars and many civil wars. Several terrorist attacks shook the world and there have been bloodsheds. The people who lost their lives in these wars and attacks were human beings, like you and me. Thousands of children, who would have otherwise enriched this world, left us prematurely. So many people lost their life savings and became homeless refugees. Were the efforts of the United Nations sufficient during those times or are these efforts adequate even today? The whole world is fighting the global pandemic of Corona for the last 8-9 months. Where is the United Nations in this joint fight against the pandemic? Where is its effective response?
“Reform in the responses, in the processes, in the character of the United Nations is the need of the hour. It is a fact that the faith and respect that the United Nations enjoys in India are unparalleled. But it is also true that the people of India have been waiting for a long time for the completion of the reforms of the United Nations. Today, people of India are concerned whether this reform-process will ever reach its logical conclusion?
For how long will India be kept out of the decision-making structures of the United Nations? A country, which is the largest democracy of the world, A country with more than 18 percent of the world population, A country, which has hundreds of languages, hundreds of dialects, many sects, many ideologies, A country, which was a leading global economy for centuries and also one which has seen hundreds of years of foreign rule.
“The ideals on which the United Nations was founded are quite similar to that of India and not different from its own fundamental philosophy. The words Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the whole world is a family, have often reverberated in this hall of the United Nations. We treat the whole world as one family. It is part of our culture, character and thinking. In the United Nations too, India has always given priority to the welfare of the whole world. India is the country, which sent its brave soldiers to about 50 peacekeeping missions. India is the country that has lost the maximum number of its brave soldiers in the course of establishing peace. Today every Indian, while seeing the contribution of India in the United Nations, aspires for India’s expanded role in the United Nations.
“It was India that initiated the ‘International Day of Non-Violence’ on 02 October and ‘International Day of Yoga’ on 21 June. Similarly, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and the International Solar Alliance are realities today due to efforts of India. India has always thought about the interests of the whole humankind and not about its own vested interests. This philosophy has always been the driving force of India's policies. One can see the glimpses of this philosophy in India’s Neighbourhood First Policy to our Act East Policy, in the thought of Security and Growth for All in the Region, and in our approach towards the Indo Pacific region. India’s partnerships are also guided by this very principle. Any gesture of friendship by India towards one country is not against someone else. When India strengthens its development partnership, it is not with any malafide intent of making the partner country dependent or hapless. We have never hesitated from sharing experiences of our development.
“Even during these very difficult times of a raging pandemic, the pharma industry of India has sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries. As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today, India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. We are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials in India and in our neighbourhood. India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of Vaccines.
From January next year, India will also fulfil its responsibility as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. I express my gratitude to all our fellow countries who have bestowed this trust upon India. We will use the prestige and experience of the largest democracy for the benefit of the whole world. Our path goes from human welfare to the welfare of the World. India will always speak in support of peace, security and prosperity. India will not hesitate in raising its voice against the enemies of humanity, human race and human values – terrorism, smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money-laundering. India’s cultural heritage, tradition, thousands of years of experience will always stand in good stead for the developing countries. India’s experiences, India’s developmental journey with its ups and downs will strengthen the way towards world welfare” the prime minister said.