PM Narendra Modi likely to address UN General Assembly on September 27: Report
(PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, according to the Hindustan Times report.

The report further states, Modi will address at UNGA hours before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, and speak on diverse issues such as climate change, universal health coverage, sustainable development goals, financing for development initiatives, and assistance for small island developing states (SIDS). Diplomats based in New York and New Delhi told the leading daily that as per the initial list issued by the UN, Modi will speak in the General Debate at around 7.30pm-8.00pm IST on September 27, followed by others including Khan, who is expected to speak around midnight (IST) on the same day.

A diplomat at the UN told the leading daily, “PM Modi will have a global audience in mind when he addresses the UNGA rather than discuss on an internal matter like Jammu & Kashmir. PM Khan can spend his entire speech on Kashmir but that will not lead to any outcome.”

While Khan is expected to spend his entire 20-minute speech on alleged human rights violations by India in Kashmir after the nullification of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution, PM Modi is unlikely to engage with the issue maintaining India’s stand that Jammu & Kashmir is an internal matter.

Modi is also expected to attend multiple high-level summits on the margins of the General Assembly session as well as hold bilateral and multilateral engagements during his visit to New York. As Prime Minister, Modi had given his maiden address at the UNGA in 2014. His address to the world leaders at the UN in September will be his first after winning a second term as prime minister in a resounding electoral victory in May.

The General Debate will commence on September 24 and run through September 30. US President Donald Trump, who had delivered his first address to global leaders from the General Assembly hall's iconic green podium in 2017, will address the session on September 24. The US is traditionally the second speaker on the opening day of the General Debate, after Brazil.

Before arriving in New York for the UNGA session, Modi is expected to visit Houston where he will address the Indian-American community on September 22. "Howdy, Modi!", the Indian-American community summit, will be hosted by the Texas India Forum, the Houston-based non-profit.

In 2015, Modi had addressed the high-level UN Sustainable Development Summit ahead of the General Debate when world leaders had adopted the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an intergovernmental set of aspiration Goals with 169 targets. Modi had also attended the UN Peacekeeping Summit hosted by the then US President Barack Obama. In the summit, Modi had announced that India will contribute an additional battalion of 850 troops for UN peacekeeping operation.

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Free Press Journal