Swaraj to address UNGA in New York on Sept. 26

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will address the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 26 in New York.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the UNGA session for the first time in three years.

Prime Minister Modi in 2014 presented the UN summit his vision for India’s foreign policy that decisively moved away from the vestiges of the polemics of the anti-colonial era while committing to promotion of global democracy.

He also pitched the creation of International Yoga Day, which was quickly adopted by the Assembly.

He has focused on UNGA until now not just to project India’s soft power, but also to elucidate the country’s position on terrorism and climate change.

In his speech at the UNGA last year, the PM had made a strong pitch for UN reforms, saying, “We must reform the United Nations, including its Security Council, so that it carries greater credibility and legitimacy.”

This year’s general debate will open on September 20 and will run through to September 26, when Swaraj will address the annual high-level debate.

The UNGA will be significant this year as it will see the presence of over 150 heads of state or government and also because U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to hold a Leaders’ Summit on the global refugee crisis on its sidelines.

According to the state department, the summit aims to jolt global commitment to increase funding to humanitarian appeals and international organizations, admit more refugees through resettlement or other legal pathways and increase refugees’ self-reliance and inclusion through opportunities for education and legal work.

According to the first provisional list released by the UN, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to attend the general debate and address global leaders on September 21.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena are also expected to attend. (ANI)