NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, September 25, 2021, made veiled attacks on Pakistan and China, saying “regressive thinking and extremism are one of the biggest challenges the world faces today.”
In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Modi told the 76th United Nations General Assembly: “Those who employ terrorism as a political tool must realise that it is a threat to them as well. We must ensure that Afghan soil is not used for terror activities and also ensure that no one takes advantage of the vulnerable situation and uses it for its selfish interests.”
In a veiled attack on China, Modi said oceans were the lifelines of international trade. “Oceans are our shared heritage. We must use and not abuse oceanic resources. We must ensure that they must be protected against expansionism,” he said and added the consensus reached at in the UN Security Council on maritime security must show the way forward.
In yet another apparent reference to China and calling for reform of multilateral organisations, the PM said the investigation into the origin of the coronavirus had damaged international organisations themselves. “The UN needs to enhance its reliability. Many questions are being raised with regard to the UN. The coronavirus pandemic, climate change and more recently the Afghanistan situation has only highlighted these questions.”
He highlighted how democracy was an important value in India and referred to his own humble beginning as a tea-seller. “It is because of democracy that a person who helped his father sell tea is addressing the UNGA for the fourth time. Democracy can deliver, it has delivered.”
‘UN needs to enhance reliabilty for remaining relevant’
If the UN wants to remain relevant, it needs to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability, he said. Modi quoted Chanakya’s words “when the right action is not taken at the right time, then time itself causes the action to fail” to push his view.
Invites vaccine manufacturers to ‘Make in India’
Mourning the loss of lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic, Modi reiterated India’s commitment to start giving vaccines to the needy. He also gave a clarion call to manufacturers to “Come, Make Vaccine in India”.