PM Modi addressing 76th UN General Assembly
Countries using terrorism as a "state policy" must realise that they will be equally harmed by it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on September 25, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Modi raised concern over situation in Afghanistan, noting that the world must prevent any country from using the Afghan soil to spread terrorism in the region.
"Countries with regressive thinking that are using terrorism as a political tool need to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat for them," he said, in what appeared to be a veiled jibe at Pakistan.
"It has to be ensured that Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism or launch terror attacks," Modi added.
"We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests. At this time, people of Afghanistan, women and children, minorities need help. We must fulfill our duties by providing them with help," the prime minister stated.
Modi's veiled remarks against Pakistan came hours after Sneha Dubey, India's First Secretary at the UN Mission, accused Islamabad of "harbouring, aiding and actively supporting terrorists".
"This is a country which has been globally recognised as one openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of state policy," Dubey said, in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's virtual speech at the UNGA in which he alleged rights' violations in Kashmir and called Indian government "fascist".
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Modi, who delivered his fourth address at the UNGA as the Indian PM, described India as a "mother of democracy".
"On 15 August this year, India entered the 75th year of Independence. Our diversity is the identity of our strong democracy," he said.
While beginning his address, Modi condoled the lives lost across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In the last 1.5 years, the entire world has been facing the worst pandemic in 100 years. I pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in this deadly pandemic and I express my condolences to their families," he said.
The prime minister apprised the gathering at UNGA about the steps taken by India in aiding the global fight against coronavirus.
The country has resumed vaccine supplies to other parts of the world, he said.
"India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine which can he administered to all above the age of 12," Modi pointed out, referring to the Zycov-D vaccine against COVID-19, developed by Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila.
"An mRNA vaccine is in the final stages of development. Indian scientists are also developing a nasal vaccine against COVID-19," he added.
The prime minister used the UN platform to extend an "invitation to all vaccine manufacturers from across the world to make vaccines in India".
Modi, who attended the first leaders' summit of Indo-Pacific grouping QUAD, called for a "rule-based world order".
"Our oceans are also the lifeline of international trade. We must protect them from the race for expansion. The international community must speak in one voice to strengthen a rule-based world order," he said. QUAD members, which includes Australia, Japan and the US apart from India, have earlier raised apprehensions over China's "expansionist" strategy in South-China Sea region.
Modi also noted that the world must focus on a development agenda which is aimed at uplifting all sections of the society. "Development should be all-inclusive, universal and one that nurtures all," he said.
"It is with the principle (of 'antyodaya' -- where no one is left behind) in mind that India today is moving forward on path of integrated equitable development. Our priority is that development should be all inclusive, all pervasive, universal and one that nurtures all," the PM added.
Notably, Modi is on his first official visit to the United States following the election of Joe Biden as the President. During the four-day visit that began on September 22, Modi held a bilateral meeting with Biden, met top CEOs of top US companies and attended the QUAD leaders' summit.