Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told the United Nations General Assembly that it was mandatory for the world to be unanimous and united in its opposition to terrorism. Modi said a world divided by terrorism hurts the founding principles of the United Nations.

The prime minister, in a 17-minute speech, told world leaders that India had contributed very little to global warming but had led the international community in the fight against climate change. He said India set up International Solar Alliance and was pushing for increased use of renewable energy.

Modi pointed out this was the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and said his message was still relevant for the world today. The prime minister added that India was starting a mission to eliminate the use of single-use plastic on October 2.

At the start of his speech, the prime minister said his government received a mandate in the 2019 elections that was even bigger than the 2014 poll result. “I am here because of the massive mandate given by the voters of India,” Modi added.

“When a developing country successfully manages the world’s biggest cleanliness mission, and builds more than 11 crore toilets in just five years, then its systems give an inspirational message to the entire world,” the prime minister asserted. He also spoke about the government’s health insurance and financial inclusion schemes. Modi said the schemes showed the world a new path and built faith in poor people.

“In the last five years, India has strengthened its great centuries-old tradition of global brotherhood and global welfare,” Modi said, mentioning Gautama Buddha, who lived over 2,500 years ago. He added that India had made major sacrifices for UN peacekeeping missions.

Modi recalled Vivekananda’s message to the world, in a speech he delivered in 1893 to the World Parliament of Religions. The message was “harmony and peace and not dissension”. Modi said India, being the world’s largest democracy, propagates the same message even today. He added that India’s ancient culture was its strength.

The prime minister made no mention of Pakistan in his speech. Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained since August 5, when India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status. Pakistan subsequently cut off trade ties with India, downgraded diplomatic ties and appealed to the United Nations to intervene in the matter. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday.

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