United Nations General Assembly

09/25/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/25/2021 09:23

General Assembly: general debate

Note: A complete summary of today's General Assembly general debate will be made available after its conclusion.


NARENDRA MODI, Prime Minister of India, underscoring that diversity was the at the heart of India's democracy, said his country was moving into integrated and equitable development. Over 430 million people have been brought into the banking system and 360 million people have been provided with insurance coverage. In addition, his Government is working to eradicate homelessness by building 30 million homes. Polluted water is a significant problem for poor and developing countries, he observed, highlighting a campaign to ensure piped clean water reaches over 170 million homes in India. For the development of any country, people must have property rights to their homes and land. To that end, India was using drones to map over 600,000 villages to give people digital records of their homes and lands, a process that will reduce property disputes and give people increased access to credit and bank loans. Every sixth person in the world is Indian, he pointed out, emphasizing that "when India reforms, the world transforms".

He went on to say that progress in the scientific and technological sectors in India was scalable, cost effective and could benefit the world. Indeed, its new COVID-19 vaccine delivery programme offered digital support to register the administration of millions of doses in a single day. As well, India developed the world's first DNA vaccine, which can be administered to anyone above the age of 12, and an mRNA vaccine that is in the final stages of development, he announced.

The pandemic taught the world that the global economy needs to be expanded further, he continued. For its part, India has struck a better balance between economy and ecology and is moving towards its renewable energy target quickly. In that vein, his country is working to make itself the world's largest green hydrogen hub.

Science-based, rational and progressive thinking must be the basis for development, he stressed. For its part, India is rolling out innovative programmes in schools and will launch 75 satellites - made by Indian students - into space. Countries with regressive thinking, that use terrorism as a political tool, must realize they create a threat for themselves, as well. In that context, it was essential to ensure Afghanistan was not used to spread terrorism and that no country take advantage of the delicate situation there for selfish interests.

He stressed that, if the United Nations is to remain relevant, it will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability. It will be vital for the Organization to meet challenges related to climate crisis, COVID-19, proxy wars and terrorism. However, institutions of global governance have damaged the credibility they worked decades to build, he noted.