‘World is facing increased threat of regressive thinking’: Top quotes from PM Modi’s UNGA speech

Addressing the 76th United National General Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about a range of topics from the Covid-19 pandemic to the threat of terrorism. He also emphasised on India's actions to combat climate change and the need to protect our oceans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the world leaders at the 76th United Nations General Assembly. He was the first speaker on Saturday’s schedule for the UN General Debate — the theme of which this year is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations’.


Here are the top quotes from his speech:

🔴 “Today, the world is facing an increased threat of regressive thinking and extremism. In such a situation, the entire world must make science-based, rational and progressive thinking the basis for development. In order to strengthen a science-based approach, India is promoting experience-based learning.”

🔴 “It is important to ensure that Afghanistan’s territory is not used to spread terrorism or terror acts. We need to be alert and ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation there and use it for its selfish interests. People of Afghanistan — its women, children and minorities need help and we must fulfill our duties by providing it.”

🔴 “For the last one and half years the world has been grappling with the worst pandemic it has seen the last 100 years. I express my condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic.”

🔴 “I am proud to represent a country that is regarded as ‘Mother of Democracy’. On 15 August this year, India entered the 75th year of its Independence. Our diversity is the identity of our democracy. We have dozens of languages, hundreds of dialects, different of lifestyles and cuisines — its the best example of a democracy. A little boy who used to help his father sell tea at a railway station is addressing the UNGA as the Prime Minister of India. I will soon have spent 20 years serving citizens of India, first as Chief minister of Gujarat and as the Prime Minister of the last seven years.”

🔴 “I am saying this from my experience. Yes, democracy can deliver. Yes, democracy has delivered.”

🔴 “Our priority is that development should be all-inclusive, all-pervasive, and universal.”

🔴 “Today every sixth person in the world is an Indian. When Indians progress, it accelerates the development of the world. When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms.”

🔴 “I would like to inform the UNGA that India has developed the world’s first DNA vaccine. This can be administered to anyone above the age of 12. An mRNA vaccine is in the final stages of development. Indian scientists are also developing a nasal vaccine against Covid-19.”

🔴 “India has struck a better balance between economy and ecology. In comparison to big, developed nations, you will be proud to see the climate action work in India. Today, we are progressing towards the goal of 450 gigawatts of renewable energy. We are working on making India the world’s biggest green hydrogen hub.”

🔴 “Countries with regressive thinking, using terrorism as political tool, should understand that terrorism is an equal threat for them also.”

🔴 “Our oceans are also shared heritage. We must only use ocean resources and not abuse them. They are the lifeline of international trade and we must protect them from the race of expansion and exclusion.

🔴 “For the United Nations to remain relevant, it must improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability. Several questions have been raised over the UN. The climate crisis, Covid-19, proxy wars and terrorism in various corners of the world, including the Afghanistan crisis, have given weightage to these questions.”

On Friday, Modi met US President Joe Biden for their first bilateral meeting at the Oval Office in the White House. Both leaders discussed a wide range of priority issues, including combating Covid-19, climate change, and economic cooperation.

Underlining that the relationship between India and the US is “destined to be stronger, closer and tighter”, Biden said that the partnership is about a “shared responsibility to uphold democratic values” and their “joint commitment to diversity”.

Further, the leaders issued a joint statement calling upon the Taliban to abide by UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) which demands that Afghan territory must never again be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks, and underscored the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan.

PM Modi and Biden Friday also participated in the first in-person Quad summit with Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga. Following which they issued a joint statement vowing to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, which is also “inclusive and resilient” at a time when China’s assertiveness is growing in the region.

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