NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the United Nations faces a “crisis of confidence” as it commemorated its 75th anniversary, and reiterated India’s long-standing call for reform at the world body to reflect “today’s realities” and “give voice to all stakeholders”.
In a declaration adopted at the end of the day-long commemorative meeting on Monday, the General Assembly committed itself to “instil new life in the discussions on the reform” of the UN Security Council (UNSC), one the principal organs of the world body. India is seeking a permanent seat on the reformed and expanded UNSC.
The Prime Minister was participating in a virtual high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the historic session. He is scheduled to deliver his speech at the high-level General Debate of the assembly on Saturday, as the first speaker for the day.
“We cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures,” Modi said in a short address.
He added: “Without comprehensive reforms, the UN faces a crisis of confidence. For today’s interconnected world, we need a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities, gives voice to all stake holders, addresses contemporary challenges and focuses on human welfare.”
The Prime Minister recalled for listeners that India was a founding signatory of the United Nations that was born out of the “horrors” of World War II, and shared India’s own “philosophy of ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’” (the whole world is one family).
“Our world today is a better place because of the United Nations,” Modi said. “We pay tribute to all those who have advanced the cause of peace and development under the UN flag, including in UN peacekeeping missions, where India had been a leading contributor.”
India will begin a two-year term on the Security Council coming January as a non-permanent member, for the eighth time. It hopes to use the opportunity to further burnish its credentials for a seat as a permanent member. Its previous non-permanent terms were 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985 and 1991-1992.