Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed for reforms in the UN Security Council in order to maintain its relevance and credibility as an international body and for proper representation in the core UN body so that countries can strive to reach their goals more effectively.
In an address on Friday at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, Modi, speaking in Hindi, also outlined India’s goals for fighting climate change and said he hoped developed countries would make separate provisions for fighting climate change without slotting it under the head of development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the audience at the opening session of the UN summit with ‘namaste’.
Wearing a brown bandgalla, the prime minister came to the podium and turned to the dais where those presiding over the session on Friday were seated and greeted them with a ‘namaste’.
On either side of the dais, large TV monitors showed Modi speaking while on a split screen a sign language interpreter relayed his speech.
His Hindi speech was simultaneously translated into English, Russian, French and Spanish and made available on earphones and on the internet.
Making a strong pitch for reforms in the UNSC and its expanded membership, Modi said: “Change is necessary in the UNSC in order to maintain its relevance and credibility, as also proper representation by countries so that we are able strive for our goals more effectively.”
Modi spoke of the need for reducing dependence on energy so that the world can strive towards “sustainable consumption”. He suggested a global education programme to prepare future generations to protect the environment to make it sustainable.
“I hope that developed countries will fulfill their financial commitments towards development and climate change without in anyway putting the two under the same head,” he said.
Modi outlined India’s climate change goals saying he represents a culture that calls the earth “mother” and that India over the next seven years will create 175 GW of renewable energy capacity.
“I represent that culture that calls the earth Ma.. The Vedas says that the earth is the mother and we are its sons,” he said in Hindi at the summit.
He said that India has outlined ambitious programmes to fight climate change.
Besides creating 175 GW renewable energy capacity, the country would also stress on energy efficiency, tree plantation, coal tax, clean environment, cleaning up of rivers, waste to wealth movement and sustainable development.
He outlined the government’s programmes towards financial inclusion, saying 180 million new bank accounts had been opened, which he termed as the biggest empowerment for the poor. He said the government was working towards a Pension Yojana to ensure pension reaches the poor.
Modi said earlier there was talk only of the private sector or public sector, but his government has focused on the “personal sector”, like individual enterprise through micro finance, innovation, start ups, creating opportunities and providing clean water, power, health, education, hygiene for all — all that is needed to live a decent life.
He said the government has fixed a time limit for the programmes, and added that women empowerment is a major part of his government’s policy through “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save the girl child, educate the girl child), which the government has made into a household mantra. Another was to make agriculture more remunerative by connecting fields to markets.
Modi said his government is taking steps to mitigate the agrarian crisis, revive the manufacturing sector, improve the services sector, and stressing on investments in the infrastructure sector and focusing on creating smart cities, which are sustainable and the centres of development.
He said India’s path is linked to sustainable development as it is linked to India’s tradition of calling the earth Ma.
He said in the UN international cooperation should be at the centre of sustainable development and to fight climate change.
“The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is the bedrock of our enterprise for a sustainable world,” he stressed.
He called for international partnership to fight climate change. Modi ended his speech with a ‘namaste’ to his audience.