Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday praised the United Nations for its humanitarian work, but warned that the global body faces a “crisis of confidence” without comprehensive reforms. Modi called for a “reformed multilateralism” that gives a voice to all stakeholders, addresses contemporary challenges and focuses on human welfare.

“We cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures,” the prime minister said in his message to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter and the adoption of a Commemorative Declaration. “Without comprehensive reforms, the UN faces a crisis of confidence.”

Modi said the commemorative declaration acknowledged that work needed to be done in conflict prevention, climate change, development, reducing inequality and leveraging digital technologies. “For today’s interconnected world, we need a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities, gives voice to all stakeholders, addresses contemporary challenges and focuses on human welfare,” the prime minister added. “India looks forward to working with all other nations towards this.”


Modi added that the world was a “better place because of the United Nations”. He paid tribute to all those who have advanced the cause of peace and development under the United Nations flag, including in UN peacekeeping missions, where India had been a leading contributor. However, he added that while much has been achieved, “the original mission remains incomplete”.

This year’s high-level UN General Assembly is being held in a largely virtual format as world leaders could not travel to New York for the annual gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti introduced Prime Minister Modi’s pre-recorded statement from the UN General Assembly Hall.