PM Modi reaches New York to address 76th UN Assembly session


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in New York where he is scheduled to address the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which was held virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modi flew to New York from Washington after holding his first bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House and attended his first in-person Quad summit on Friday. On Friday, they also took part in the first in-person Quad leaders summit at the White House along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga.

During his meeting with Modi, Biden stressed on Covid, climate change and Quad as three topics of discussion. Modi spoke about tradition, talent, technology, trade and trusteeship (five Ts). They spoke for about 20 minutes and then had a meeting for about an hour or so. Modi, who spoke after Biden at the Oval Office, said the next decade will be a “transformative period” in India-US relations, and referred to “democratic values, traditions to which both countries are committed” and said the “importance of these traditions will only increase further”.

Modi will address the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday. The theme for this year’s General Debate is “Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations.”

The prime minister was received at the airport by India’s ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu and India’s Permanent Representative to the UN ambassador T S Tirumurti.

“Voicing the sentiments of the 1.3 billion people of India! PM @narendramodi arrives in New York to address the 76th UNGA tomorrow. India’s current membership of the @UN Security Council lends even greater significance!,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a tweet.

As per the second provisional list of speakers for the General Assembly, about 109 heads of state and government will address the General Debate in person and nearly 60 will deliver speeches through pre-recorded video statements.

Modi had last addressed the UN General Assembly session in 2019. Last year, world leaders had submitted pre-recorded video statements for the United Nations General Assembly session in September, as heads of state and government could not physically attend the annual gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the first time in the UN’s 75-year history that the high-level session had gone virtual. This year too, the option has been kept open for the world leaders to send in pre-recorded statements since the pandemic continues to rage across several nations around the world.

Modi will return to India after his address to the General Assembly.

(With inputs from PTI)