Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in Hindi as he addressed the 69th UN General Assembly Session in New York on September 28, 2014, during his 5-day visit to the US. Here is the full transcript of the Indian Prime Minister’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly:
Narendra Modi – Prime Minister, India
Mr President and distinguished delegates…
Let me first congratulate you on your election as the President of the 69th session of United Nations General Assembly.
It is a truly great honor to address you for the first time as the Prime Minister of India. I stand here conscious of the hopes and expectations of the people of India.
I am also mindful of the expectations of the world from 1.25 billion people. India is a country that constitutes one-sixth of humanity; a nation experiencing economic and social transformation on a scale rarely seen in history.
Every nation’s world view is shaped by its civilization and philosophical tradition. India’s ancient wisdom sees the world as one family. It is this timeless current of thought that gives India an unwavering belief in multilateralism.
Today, as I stand here, I am equally aware of the hopes that are pinned on this Great Assembly. I am struck by the sacred belief that brought us together. An extraordinary vision and a clear recognition of our shared destiny brought us together to build this institution for advancing peace and security, the rights of every human being and economic development for all. From 51 nations then, today 193 sovereign flaÿs flv at thiÿ hope.
We have achieved much in the past six decades in our mission in ending wars, preventing conflict, maintaining peace, feeding the hungry, striving to save our planet and creating opportunities for children. 69 UN peacekeeping missions since 1948 have made the blue helmet the color of peace.
Today, there is a surge of democracy across the world; including in South Asia; in Afghanistan, we are at a historic moment of democratic transition and affirmation of unity. Afghans are showing that their desire for a peaceful and democratic future will prevail over violence. Nepal has moved from violence to peace and democracy; Bhutan’s young democracy is flourishing. Democracy is trying to find a voice in West Asia and North Africa; Tunisia’s success makes us believe that it is possible.
There is a new stirring for stability, progress and progress in Africa. There is unprecedented spread of prosperity in Asia and beyond, rising on the strength of peace and stability. Latin America, a continent of enormous potential, is coming together in shared pursuit of stability and prosperity, which could make it an important anchor of the world. India desires a peaceful and stable environment for its development. A nation’s destiny is linked to its neighborhood. That is why my Government has placed the highest priority on advancing friendship and cooperation with her neighbors.
This includes Pakistan. I am prepared to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere, without the shadow of terrorism, to promote our friendship and cooperation. However, Pakistan must also take its responsibility seriously to create an appropriate environment. Raising issues in this forum is not the way to make progress towards resolving issues between our two countries.
Instead, today, we should be thinking about the victims of floods in Jammu and Kashmir. In India, we have organized massive flood relief operations and have also offered assistance for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
India is part of the developing world, but we are prepared to share our modest resources with those countries that need this assistance as much as we do.
This is a time of great flux and change. The world is witnessing tensions and turmoil on a scale rarely seen in recent history. There are no major wars, but tensions and conflicts abound; and, there is absence of real peace and uncertainty about the future.
An integrating Asia Pacific region is still concerned about maritime security that is fundamental to its future. Europe faces risk of new division. In West Asia, extremism and fault lines are growing. Our own region continues to face the destabilizing threat of terrorism. Africa faces the twin threat of rising terrorism and a health crisis. Terrorism is taking new shape and new name. No country, big or small, in the north or the south, east or west, is free from its threat.
Are we really making concerted international efforts to fight these forces, or are we still hobbled by our politics, our divisions, our discrimination between countries.
We welcome efforts to combat terrorism’s resurgence in West Asia, which is affecting countries near and far. The effort should involve the support of al! countries in the region. Today, even as seas, space and cyber space have become new instruments of prosperity, they could also become a new theatre of conflicts.
Today, more than ever, the need for an international compact, which is the foundation of the United Nations, is stronger than before. While we speak of an interdependent world, have we become more united as nations? Today, we still operate in various Gs with different numbers. India, too, is involved in several. But, how much are we able to work together as G1 or G-All? On the one side, we say that our destinies are inter-linked, on the other hand we still think in terms of zero sum game. If the other benefits, I stand to lose.
It is easy to be cynical and say nothing will change; but if we do that, we run the risk of shirking our responsibilities and we put our collective future in danger.
Let us bring ourselves in tune with the call of our times.
First, let us work for genuine peace, No one country or group of countries can determine the course of this world. There has to be a genuine international partnership. This is not just a moral position, but a practical reality. We need a genuine dialogue and engagement between countries. I say this from the conviction of the philosophical tradition that I come from.
Our efforts must begin here – in the United Nations.
We must reform the United Nations, including the Security Council, and make it more democratic and participative. Institutions that reflect the imperatives of 20th century won’t be effective in the 21st. It would face the risk of irrelevance; and we will face the risk of continuing turbulence with no one capable of addressing it.