The United Nations faces a “crisis of confidence” without major reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, explaining that the world needs a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities, gives voice to all stakeholders, addresses current challenges and focuses on people’s wellbeing concentrate.
Prime Minister Modi’s call for a reformed multilateralism is of particular importance, as on the eve of India she takes a seat in the powerful UN Security Council as an elected non-permanent member for a term of two years from January 1, 2021.
“We cannot meet today’s challenges with outdated structures. Without comprehensive reforms, the United Nations faces a crisis of confidence,” said PM Modi on Monday in his video address at the high-level session of the General Assembly on the 75th anniversary of the United States.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the 193-member General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a forward-looking political declaration in which a clear call for strengthening the counter-terrorism mechanism, reformed multilateralism, inclusive development and better preparedness to cope of challenges like the Covid19 pandemic.
The declaration also recognizes the need to reform the United Nations itself. PM Modi said, “For today’s connected world we need a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities, gives voice to all stakeholders, addresses current challenges and focuses on people’s wellbeing.”
He said India looks forward to working with all other nations towards this goal.
India has spearheaded decades of efforts to reform the Security Council. A structure established in 1945 does not reflect the current realities of the 21st century and is poorly equipped to meet the current challenges.
There is broad support, including from four of the five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, UK, France and Russia – for India’s permanent seat on the Council.
India’s priorities for his tenure on the Security Council are “resonated” in the statement reflecting New Delhi’s call for a strong mandate against terrorism, reformed multilateralism and inclusive development. India’s overarching goal during his tenure on the UN Security Council will be to achieve N.O.R.M.S – a new direction for a reformed multilateral system.
“Our working methods must keep pace and adapt. We support the Secretary-General’s ongoing reforms … We reiterate our call for reforms from three of the main organs of the United Nations. We undertake to breathe new life into discussions on Security Council reform and reform continuing work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council. “
Commenting on the special commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, PM Modi said: “75 years ago the horrors of war gave rise to new hope. For the first time in human history an institution for the whole world was created.”
As a founding signatory to the UN Charter, India is part of this noble vision, reflecting India’s own philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, which regards all creation as a family.
“Our world today is a better place because of the United Nations,” said the Prime Minister.
He paid tribute to all those who have worked for peace and development under the flag of the United Nations, including in United Nations peace missions, in which India had made a leading contribution.
India is one of the largest troops contributing to UN peace missions, having deployed over 200,000 soldiers in nearly 50 of the 71 peace missions commissioned over the past six decades.
India has lost more peacekeeping forces in service than any other UN member state, and in the past 70 years more than 160 Indian military, police and civilians have lost their lives serving on UN peacekeeping missions around the world.
Modi emphasized that while much has been achieved, the original mission remains incomplete. “The sweeping declaration we are adopting today recognizes that much remains to be done to prevent conflict, ensure development, address climate change, reduce inequality and leverage digital technologies,” he said.
In the declaration, the heads of state and government vow to leave no one behind, to protect the planet, to promote peace and prevent conflict, to comply with international law and ensure justice, to put women and girls at the center, to build trust and to promote digital cooperation improve, improve the United Nations, ensure sustainable funding, strengthen partnerships, listen and work with youth and prepare.
This year’s high-level United Nations General Assembly is taking place in a largely virtual format as world leaders have not traveled to New York for the annual meeting due to the coronavirus pandemic. Heads of State or Government and Ministers broadcast video-taped statements for the high-level week, including the special commemoration of 75 years of the United Nations and the general debate.
India’s Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti presented the previously recorded statement by Prime Minister Modi from the UN General Assembly.