Here is the full text of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s speech at UNGA
New Delhi/New York:
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, making a strong pitch for India’s inclusion as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and also called out nations that interfere with India’s internal affairs.
Here is the full text of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s speech at UNGA:
Let me begin by expressing our felicitations to the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Dennis Francis. And our fullest support to the 78th UNGA’s theme of “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity”.
This is an occasion to take stock of our achievements and challenges even while sharing our aspirations and goals. And indeed, in regard to both, there is much that India has to share.
Mr. President, the world is witnessing an exceptional period of turmoil. As it is, structural inequities and uneven development have imposed burdens on the Global South. But stresses have been aggravated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the repercussions of ongoing conflicts, tensions and disputes. As a result, socio-economic gains of recent years have been rolled back.
Resources for sustainable development are severely challenged. And many countries really struggle to make ends meet. Navigating the future appears even more daunting today.
At this juncture, it was with a sense of exceptional responsibility that India took up the Presidency of the G20. Our vision of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ sought to focus on the key concerns of the many, not just the narrow interests of a few.
In the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was to bridge divides, dismantle barriers and sow seeds of collaboration that nourish a world, where unity prevails over discord and where shared destiny eclipses isolation. The New Delhi G-20 Leaders’ Declaration articulates our collective ability to do so.
Excellencies, Friends, at a time when East-West polarization is so sharp and North-South divide so deep, the New Delhi Summit also affirms that diplomacy and dialogue are the only effective solutions. The international order is diverse and we must cater for divergences, if not differences. The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over.
As the United Nations itself symbolizes, finding common ground is an imperative. To listen to others and to respect their viewpoints, this is not weakness; it is the basics of cooperation. Only then can collective efforts on global issues be successful.
Recognizing that growth and development must focus on the most vulnerable, we began the G20 Presidency by convening the ‘Voice of the Global South’ Summit. This enabled us to hear directly from 125 nations and place their concerns on the G20 agenda.
As a consequence, the issues which deserve global attention got a fair hearing. More than that, the deliberations produced outcomes that have great significance for the international community.
Mr. President, it was also noteworthy that at India’s initiative, the African Union was admitted as a permanent member of the G20. By doing so, we gave voice to an entire continent which has long been its due.
This significant step in reform should inspire the United Nations, a much older organization, to also make the Security Council contemporary. Broad representation is, after all, a pre-requisite for both effectiveness and credibility.
The outcomes of the New Delhi G20 Summit will surely resonate for years ahead. Among them is the Action Plan for Sustainable Development Goals, a crucial need of the day. Equally important are the High Principles of LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) and the Green Development Pact, as they shape our approach to our planet’s future.
The transformative role of Digital Public Infrastructure has also finally been recognized. As has the salience of women-led development in building an inclusive and progressive society. The reform of international financial institutions (IFI) has been given due weight, as has the resolution of debt vulnerabilities.
Friends, the New Delhi G20 outcomes are expressed both as larger policies and as specific initiatives. They could be about building cities for tomorrow or fighting corruption. Eliminating hunger or delivering quality education. Ending plastic pollution or preserving the ocean-based economy. Or for that matter, enhancing food security or even mapping global skills.
Some address longstanding issues like the gender divide and climate action. Others focus on new concerns such as responsible harnessing of Artificial Intelligence. All in all, we have placed for the world’s consideration a set of actionable propositions, constructive solutions and new directions.
Even as we encourage collective endeavours, India also seeks to promote cooperation with diverse partners. From the era of non-alignment, we have now evolved to that of Vishwa Mitra (a friend to the world). This is reflected in our ability and willingness to engage with a broad range of nations. And, where necessary, harmonize interests.
It is visible in the rapid growth of the Quad, a mechanism today so relevant to the Indo-Pacific. It is equally apparent in the expansion of the BRICS grouping of independent-minded nations. Or in fact, the emergence of the I2U2 combination.
Recently, we hosted the creation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). The forging of the Global Biofuels Alliance was another notable development. This willingness to work in an open-minded manner on specific domains is now a defining characteristic of the emerging multipolar order.
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