Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the United Nations faces a “crisis of confidence without comprehensive reforms”, adding that the world requires a reformed multilateralism that bespeaks the realities of today, gives voice to all stakeholders and engages with contemporary challenges.
Modi made these remarks ahead of India taking a seat at the UN Security Council as an elected non-permanent member for a two-year term that starts on January 1, 2021.
Speaking in a video address to the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to begin the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Modi said, “We cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures. Without comprehensive reforms, the UN faces a crisis of confidence.”
As part of its 75th anniversary, the UN General Assembly has adopted a declaration in which the heads of states and governments reaffirmed their commitment to leave no one behind, preserve the planet, promote peace and prevent conflicts, abide by international law and ensure justice, place women and girls at the centre, build trust, improve digital cooperation and upgrade the United Nations, among other issues.
The PM pointed out that the declaration too took cognizance of the need for reform of the UN. He said, “While much has been achieved, the original mission remains incomplete. The declaration we are adopting today acknowledges that work still needs to be done in preventing conflict, ensuring development, addressing climate change, reducing inequality.”
This year’s high-level UN General Assembly is being organised virtually as world leaders did not travel to New York for the annual meeting due to the coronavirus pandemic. Heads of states and government and ministers submitted their pre-recorded video statements for the high-level week, including the special commemoration of the UN’s 75 years and the General Debate.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti introduced Modi’s pre-recorded statement from the UN General Assembly Hall.
“We support the ongoing reforms by the Secretary-General, we reiterate our call for reforms of three of the principal organs of the United Nations. We commit to instil new life in the discussions on the reform of the Security Council and continue the work to revitalise the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council,” Modi said.
He added that India has been leading decades-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying a structure established in 1945 does not fully show the contemporary realities of the 21st century and is not adequately-equipped to take on current challenges.
Modi also underscored the fact that as a founding signatory of the UN charter, India shared values, which showed India’s own tenets of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’, which views all creation as a family. “Our world today is a better place because of the United Nations,” the PM added.