Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has highlighted India's role in its region as a first responder to Covid-19 crisis as he delivered a keynote address virtually at this year's High-Level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) session on Friday.
Prime Minister Modi recalled the support provided by the Indian government and Indian pharma companies for ensuring medicine supplies to different countries, and for coordinating a joint response strategy among SAARC countries.
This was the first address by PM to the broader UN membership since India's overwhelming election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council on June 17, for the term 2021-22, according to Press Information Bureau of India.
The theme of the High-Level Segment of the ECOSOC this year is "Multilateralism after Covid19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary".
Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the UN, this theme also resonates with India's priority for its forthcoming membership of the UN Security Council.
Modi reiterated India's call for a 'reformed multilateralism' in a post-Covid-19 world, which reflects the realities of the contemporary world.
In his address, he recalled India's long association with the ECOSOC and the UN's developmental work, including for the Sustainable Development Goals.
He noted that India's developmental motto of 'SabkaSaath, SabkaVikaas, Sabka Vishwas' resonates with the core SDG principle of leaving no one behind.
Modi pointed out that India's success in improving the socio-economic indicators of its vast population has a significant impact on global SDG targets. He spoke about India's commitment to also support other developing countries in meeting their SDG targets.
He spoke about India's ongoing development efforts, including for improving access to sanitation through the "Swacch Bharat Abhiyan", empowering women, ensuring financial inclusion, and expanding the availability of housing and healthcare through flagship schemes such as the "Housing for All" programme and the "Ayushman Bharat" scheme.
He also highlighted India's focus on environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation and recalled India's leading role in the establishment of the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
This was the second time that Prime Minister addressed the ECOSOC.
He had earlier delivered the keynote address at the 70th anniversary of the ECOSOC in January 2016.