Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday, in what would be his maiden speech at the world body after assuming office for the second term.
Modi’s speech will outline the country’s larger role on the world stage and what it was doing on the development, peace and security fronts. The government has maintained that the Prime Minister will not mention the Kashmir issue at all during the time allotted for the address, in view that the revocation of Article 370 is India’s internal matter.
The address will likely take place at around 7:30 pm (IST), shortly before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will deliver his speech. Islamabad, on its part, has made it clear that Khan would raise the issue of Kashmir at the world body.
The country has been pitching the matter aggressively ever since August 5, even after being snubbed on several occasions in the past.
Modi’s speech on Friday comes four years after he last addressed the top world body; in the interim years, the UNGA was addressed by then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The 69th session of the UNGA had witnessed the Indian Prime Minister calling for the early adaptation of the Comprehensive Convention on Global Terrorism, saying it was a matter that had been pending for long. He had made it clear that India wanted to pursue bilateral talks with Pakistan, in an environment of peace, free of the shadow of terror.
Modi’s address at the UN comes on the final day of his six-day visit to the US. The Prime Minister had a packed agenda of bilateral and multilateral engagements in New York, beginning with the mega “Howdy, Modi!” event that witnessed him sharing the stage with US President Donald Trump before a crowd of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans.
Modi was also honoured with the Global Goalkeeper Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his contributions to the cleanliness drive and efforts to improve access to sanitation in India through Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.