New Delhi: On United Nation’s Day on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India has always worked for world peace, which is seen in the country’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping forces, and is also playing a leading role in addressing issues related to poverty alleviation, climate change and workers.
Devoting a large section of his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio address to the United Nations on its founding day, October 24, the PM said that India is working closely with the World Health Organization to popularize Yoga and AYUSH. In March 2021, WHO announced that a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine would be set up in India.
He also referred to late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s address to the UN in 1977 in Hindi.
“Friends, today while talking about the United Nations I’m also remembering the words of Atal ji. In 1977, he made history by addressing the United Nations in Hindi,” he said, and played an excerpt of the former prime minister’s address for listeners.
Vajpayee first addressed the UN General Assembly’s 32nd session in 1977 in Hindi as the foreign minister under the Janata Party government headed by then prime minister Morarji Desai.
Modi said the words of Vajpayee “show us the way even today. India’s contribution in making this earth a better and safer planet is a big inspiration for the entire world.”
The PM said that India has been a member since the formation of the United Nations, and that India signed the Charter of the UN in 1945 prior to independence.
He recounted that a unique feature related to the United Nations “is that the woman power of India has played a large role in increasing the influence and strength of the United Nations.”
He said in 1947-48, when the Universal Declaration of UN Human Rights was being drafted, it was being inscribed in that Declaration “All Men are Created Equal”. But a Delegate from India objected to this and then it was written in the Universal Declaration – “All Human Beings are Created Equal”.
“This was in consonance with India’s age-old tradition of Gender Equality. Did you know that Smt. Hansa Mehta was the delegate because of whom this became possible? At the same time, another delegate Smt. Lakshmi Menon had strongly put forth her views on the issue of gender equality. And not only this, in 1953, Smt. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman President of the UN General Assembly,” he said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in a tweet, said that on UN Day, India will always be a constructive force in enhancing UN’s effectiveness and reliability.
“On UN Day, as a founding member, reaffirm India’s commitment to @UN.
“Reiterate importance of reformed multilateralism that reflects rebalancing, fairness and multipolarity.
“As non-permanent member of UNSC, will take a principled approach towards contemporary challenges.
“India will always be a constructive force in enhancing UN’s effectiveness and reliability,” he tweeted.