Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, his first appearance on the premier global arena after a resounding victory in national elections earlier this year and the third since taking office in 2014. PM Modi, the fourth speaker on the fourth day of the general debate, is expected to take the stage in the iconic hall at the UN headquarters in New York around 7:30 pm Indian time.
Ahead of his speech, PM Modi's office tweeted:
The Prime Minister held a number of bilateral meetings with top world leaders like US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of his UN address. Earlier this week, he hit out at Pakistan in his speech at a public event in Houston, Texas organised by the Indian community.
"There are many pressing challenges for the international community - a still fragile global economy, turbulence and tension in many parts of the world, growth and spread of terrorism, climate change and the endemic global challenge of poverty," PM Modi said last week in a statement before leaving for New York.
"They require stronger global commitment and concerted multilateral action. I will reiterate our commitment to reformed multilateralism, which is responsive, effective and inclusive, and in which India plays her due role," PM Modi had said.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the Prime Minister "will focus on what the high-level segment of the UNGA is meant to focus on which is - as an important economy, as an important country, as a responsible member of the UN - PM will flag what we are doing for development, for security, for peace and our expectations and aspirations of other countries."
PM Modi will raise several issues such as development, climate change and other bilateral and multilateral issues "of which terrorism is one, but the focus will not be on it, but on the role of India at the international platform," Mr Gokhale had said.
The theme of this year's general debate at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly or UNGA is "Galvanising multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion".
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will also address the UN General Assembly on Friday. Mr Khan, who is slotted as the third speaker after PM Modi, has said that he will "forcefully present the Kashmir issue like never before" in his address at the UNGA session.
Pakistan has been trying to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums after India withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, enforcing severe security restrictions and a communications blackout. New Delhi has snubbed the efforts, asserting that revoking Jammu and Kashmir's privileges was its "internal matter".
(With inputs from PTI)