Prime Minister's Office

PM’s Address in ECOSOC commemoration of UNs 75th Anniversary

Posted On: 17 JUL 2020 8:49PM by PIB Delhi


Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the  United Nations. It is an occasion to recognise the UN's many contributions to human progress. It is also an opportunity to assess the UN's role and relevance in today's World, and to shape a better future for it.     


India was among the 50 founding members of the United Nations  immediately after the Second  World War. A lot has changed since then. Today the UN brings together 193 member countries. Along with its membership, the expectations from the organisation have also grown. At the same time multilateralism is facing many challenges today.     


From the very beginning, India has actively supported the UN's development work and the  ECOSOC.  The first president of ECOSOC     was an Indian. India also contributed to shaping the ECOSOC  agenda,   including the Sustainable  Development  Goals. Today, through our domestic efforts, we are again playing a salient role in achieving  Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. We are also supporting  other developing countries in meeting their Sustainable  Development  Goals.     


India is home to one-sixth of humanity. We are mindful of our weight  and responsibility. We know that if India succeeds in achieving its development objectives, it will go a long way in achievement  of global goals. And so we have taken "whole-of-society" approach- by engaging our States, our local governments, our civil society,  communities and our people.   

Our motto is   'Sabka Saath,  Sabka Vikaas,  Sabka Vishwas'  - meaning   'Together,  for everyone's growth,   with everyone's trust'. This  resonates  with the core SDG principle of  leaving no one behind.   Be it access to  nutrition ,   health   education,    electricity    or housing  - we are making great progress  through our inclusive programmes.     


Last year,   we celebrated  the 150th birth anniversary   of the Father of our Nation,  Mahatma Gandhi, by achieving full sanitation coverage   in our six hundred thousand villages.   

In five years, we built over 110 million household toilets, which improved our rural sanitation cover from  38 % to  100 %. Our massive    awareness generation programmes are empowering our women. We have achieved  gender  parity in elementary and  secondary education.    Nearly  70 million women in rural India are part of self-help groups   under our Livelihood Mission. They are transforming lives and livelihoods on a big scale. Over a million women are elected representatives of our local governments, leading the process of  participatory  development. In the last six years, we opened 400 million bank accounts for the unbanked,   out of which  220 million are owned by women. We have leveraged the power of technology for financial inclusion. This is based  on the trinity  of a  unique identity number, a bank account,  and a mobile connection  for everyone. It has allowed us to make Direct Benefit Transfers of 150 billion dollars to over 700 million persons.Our food security programmes reach 813 million citizens.

Our ‘Housing for All’ programme will ensure that every Indian will have   a safe and secure roof  over her head by 2022, when India completes   75 years as an independent nation. By then, 40 million new homes   would have been made under this programme  - more than the total number of households in many countries.Today, our ‘Ayushmaan Bharat’ scheme is the world's largest health protection programme,  covering  500 million individuals. In the fight against COVID,   our grass-roots health system is helping India ensure one of the best recovery rates  in the world. We are also on track to remove TB  by 2025. Other developing countries can learn from the scale   and success of India's development programmes. And from the technologies  and innovations  we have deployed. It is this realisation   that  under-pins India's own development partnership  with the global South.  


While marching forward on the path to development,  we are not forgetting   our responsibility towards our planet.   Over the past few years, we have reduced 38 million tonnes of carbon emissions  annually.   This was achieved   by electrifying our villages,   providing clean cooking  fuel    to 80 million poor households,  and introduction of  energy efficient measures.    We have set a target   to install  450 Gigawatt  of renewable energy  and restore   26 million hectares   of  degraded   land by 2030.    We have   an age-old tradition of  living in harmony   with nature.    We launched  one of the largest campaigns   for cleanliness  and discouraged  usage of single-use plastic.    Internationally,  our Initiative to set up  the International Solar Alliance  was a practical manifestation  of climate action.    Similarly,   the Coalition for  Disaster Resilience  Infrastructure  brings together   all  relevant stake-holders  for a comprehensive approach.    We have always prided ourselves   as the first responder in our region - a friend in need. Be it earthquakes, cyclones or any other natural  or man-made crisis, India has responded  with speed and solidarity. In our joint fight against COVID,  we have extended  medical and other assistance  to over  150 countries. We also helped create  a  SAARC  COVID emergency fund  in our neighborhood.     


The  COVID-19 pandemic   has severely tested   the resilience  of all nations.    In India,   we have tried to make   the fight against the pandemic a people's movement, by combining the efforts of Government and society.     We have given   the highest priority   to deliver benefits  to poor households.    We have announced   a package   of more than 300 billion dollars.    It will bring   the economy back on track, build modern infrastructure  and put in place  a technology-driven system. We have put forward a vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'   a self-reliant   and Resilient  India,  integrated with the global economy.     


India firmly believes   that the path  to achieve  sustainable  peace and prosperity   is through multilateralism.   As children of planet Earth,  we must join hands   to address  our common challenges  and achieve our common goals.    However,  multilateralism  needs to represent   the reality of the contemporary  world. Only reformed multilateralism   with a reformed United Nations at its center can meet the aspirations   of humanity. Today,  while celebrating  75 years  of the  United Nations,   let us pledge  to reform the global multilateral  system.  To enhance its relevance,   to improve its effectiveness,  and to make it the basis   of a new type of   human-centric globalisation.  The  United Nations   was originally born from the furies    of the Second World War.  Today,   the fury  of the pandemic  provides the context   for its rebirth and reform.     Let us not lose this chance.     


India has been elected  to the United Nations Security Council   at this very important time. With our deep commitment  to maintaining global harmony, to improving socio-economic equity , and to preserving nature's balance,   India will play its role in full support of the UN agenda.   


Thank you.



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