Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened his historic United Nations General Assembly with a tribute to India’s ancient civilisational traditions, telling a packed Assembly hall of delegates that India’s philosophy, which was not an ideology, was the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam , or world family, and this has guided the nation since Vedic times.
In a wide-ranging address to the Assembly Mr. Modi also made a strong pitch for nations to “fulfil promise to reform the U.N. Security Council by 2015,” and called for a greater role for the G-4 coalition including India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, one that would help all countries move beyond thinking of policy as a “zero-sum game.”Climate change
This group, the Prime Minister urged, should come together on the 70th anniversary of the U.N. to tackle global concerns including climate change, maritime security, threats in cyberspace and the untapped potential of space exploration.
On the UNSC reform he added, “Institutions that reflect the imperatives of the 20th century won’t be effective in the 21st. It would face the risk of irrelevance.”
At several points in his speech Mr. Modi , who spoke mostly in Hindi with a few English words peppering his delivery, went back to the issue of peacekeeping under the aegis of the UN, saying, “We have to give force to the U.N. peacekeeping work and that countries which use their armies have to be included in the decision making, their confidence will go up…. If they are kept out of decision making how can we keep U.N. peacekeeping alive and energetic?”
Devoting a significant end segment of his speech to the benefits of Yoga Mr. Modi called for an International Yoga Day, arguing, “It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, [Yoga] can help us deal with climate change.”