From revealing his 20 years of service to his democracy outreach: Highlights of PM Modi's UNGA address!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ended his packed United States tour on Saturday with his address to the United Nations General Assembly. Modi has arrived in the United States earlier this week for the first time in two years and met with various global leaders and businessmen. After meeting US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington for the first time after they assumed their respective offices, Narendra Modi had on Friday arrived in New York City as his last leg of the US tour.

In the evening hours of Saturday (Indian time), the Prime Minister had addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) before several global leaders. This was his first in-person address to the UNGA since 2019, with 2020's session was held virtually. As the leaders assembled after a year, Modi took one of the powerful podiums in the globe and used the prospect of his address to speak about his government's achievements, Covid-19 vaccines, India's growing digitalization, and the country's adversaries.

His address had lasted for 22 minutes and it also contained quotes. He said, "I represent the country, which is known as the mother of democracy. India enters 75 years of its independence and our diversity is the identity of our strong democracy." He stated, "Our diversity is the identity of our strong democracy. We have had a great tradition of democracy that goes back thousands of years. It is a country that has dozens of languages, hundreds of dialects, different lifestyles, and cuisines. This is the best example of a vibrant democracy." 

He reminisced the global stage about how he helped his father at his tea stall. Narendra Modi said, "The strength of our democracy is demonstrated by the fact that a little boy who at one time used to help his father at his tea stall at a railway station is today addressing the United Nations General Assembly for the fourth time as Prime Minister of India." "I will soon have spent 20 years serving my countrymen as head of government. First, as the longest-serving Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as the Prime Minister for last seven years", Modi added. 

He said, "Every sixth person in the world is an Indian. India's progress will accelerate global growth. When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms. The science and technology-based innovations taking place in India can make a big contribution to the world. The scalability of our tech solutions and their cost-effectiveness are both unparalleled." He added that democracy can deliver and it has delivered. After highlighting India's democracy, Modi shifted his speech towards the global adversary in the form of terrorism. He had underlined, without mentioning Pakistan, that the countries that use terrorism as a political tool will also get affected by terrorism. 

He said, "On the occasion of India's 75th year of Independence, India is going to launch 75 satellites into space that are being made by Indian students in schools and colleges. On the other hand, countries with regressive thinking that are using terrorism as a political tool, these countries must understand that terrorism is an equally big threat for them too. It is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan's territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist attacks. We also need to be alert and ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation there and use it as a tool for its own selfish interests."

"At this time, the people of Afghanistan, the women and children, the minorities need help, and we must fulfil our duty by providing them with this help", the Prime Minister added. By quoting Chanakya's words "When the right action is not taken at the right time, it is time itself that causes the action to fail", Modi had called for inclusive development and for the poor to have property rights. He had touted the indigenously-developed Zydus Cadila vaccine, noting that it was the world's first DNA vaccine against Covid-19. 

He further said, "Our Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India movement is inspired by this very spirit. India is becoming a democratic and reliable partner for global industrial diversification." "If the United Nations wants to remain relevant, it will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability. Today, all kinds of questions are being raised about the UN. We have seen such questions being raised related to the climate crisis and we also saw them during Covid", Modi added. 

He said, "The proxy war going on in many parts of the world, terrorism, and the recent Afghan crisis, have further highlighted the seriousness of these questions. With regard to the origin of Covid, or regarding the Ease of Doing Business rankings, institutions of global governance have damaged the credibility they built which was the result of decades of hard work. It is essential that we constantly strengthen the UN in order to safeguard global order, global laws, and global values." 

Concluding his speech, the Prime Minister said, "I would like to quote the Nobel Laureate, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore: Boldly proceed on your path of good deeds. May you overcome all weaknesses and doubts." After completing his speech at the United Nations, Modi returned to the hotel and began to leave for India. Ahead of reaching the JFK Airport in New York, he had met the people who had gathered outside the hotel and then reached the airport, and boarded his plane to reach India after concluding the US visit.