Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to deliver a virtual address at the annual UN General Assembly today. PM Modi's speech is scheduled to happen at around 6:30 pm. While the Prime Minister will speak on wide-ranging issues from sustainable development to global peacekeeping efforts, his speech will also focus on the key issues of climate change and terrorism, sources have said.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's UN General Assembly is being held virtually, as almost all world leaders are delivering their speeches in a pre-recorded video format.
The annual UN General Assembly debate is held at the United Nations office in New York. 2020 marks the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was started in 1945, after the end of World War II.
Prime Minister Modi tweeted this afternoon confirming his scheduled speech for today.
PM Modi is scheduled as the first speaker before noon, and his speech will be aired at around 9 am local time (New York) - around 6:30 pm in India.
Some of the priority issues for India at the ongoing 75th session of UN General Assembly will be to push for strengthening global action against terrorism, sources told NDTV.
They said that India will pitch for more transparency in the process of listing and de-listing of terror entities and individuals by the UN sanction committees.
"Being one of the largest troops contributing nations to the UN, India will also seek to engage intensively in finalising of mandates for the UN peacekeeping mission," they said.
India will also focus on issues such as climate change and those relating to sustainable development, as New Delhi regards these as issues of priority.
Amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, India is likely to highlight its role as a "pharmacy to the world" while highlighting its contribution to global cooperation against COVID-19 by aiding more than 150 countries, sources told NDTV.
India's priorities will be to ensure inclusive and responsible solutions for international peace and security, effective response to international terrorism, new orientation for a reformed multilateral system, technology for all and streamlining of UN peacekeeping.
Earlier this month, India's UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti had said that "Prime Minister's address to the UN and the vision he outlines will be truly significant, especially on the eve of our entering the UN Security Council."
Mr Tirumurti said that on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the UN, as a founding member of the UN, he recalls with pride the significant and, in many ways, the pioneering contribution of India to the success of UN's work and for peace and development across the world.
The vision PM Modi outlines will be closely watched as it comes ahead of India taking a seat at the powerful UN Security Council as an elected non-permanent member for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021.
In another significant victory in recent weeks, India got elected as Member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the principal global body focused on gender equality and women empowerment, beating China in a hotly-contested election in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women.
Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani will address the High-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women - Beijing +25 on October 1.
Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change Prakash Javadekar's message on the UN Summit on Biodiversity will also be convened by the President of the General Assembly on September 30 under the theme of 'Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development'.
India is a leading contributor to climate action and over the past few years, it has reduced 38 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the minister has said.
In the course of the last decade, around 3 million hectares of forest and tree cover has been added, which has enhanced the combined forest and tree cover to 24.56 per cent of the total geographical area of the country, he added.
Going forward, India aims to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land and achieve land-degradation neutrality by 2030 and the country has set additional targets of eliminating single-use plastic by 2022 and installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
(With inputs from PTI)