New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27. PM Modi’s address would come hours before that of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and is likely to address diverse issues like climate change, universal health coverage, sustainable development goals, financing for development initiatives, and assistance for small island developing states (SIDS), said media reports.
As per the initial list issued by the UN, PM Modi will speak in the General Debate at around 7.30 PM. Interestingly, sources said that while Imran Khan’s 20-minute speech is likely to address only the alleged human rights violations by India since the abrogation of Article 370 pertaining to the special status of J&K, PM Modi’s speech is expected to steer clear of the matter in keeping with India’s stand that the region is an internal matter.
Media reports have pointed out that Pakistan is pushing China and the UK for a special session at the forthcoming meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Kashmir in Geneva from September 9. Last week, both Islamabad and Beijing were rebuffed by the remaining 13 members of UNSC while trying to have an open session on Kashmir during informal consultations on the issue, with Moscow taking a position that the issue should be handled bilaterally.
Meanwhile, PM Modi will reach New York on September 23 after a meeting with the Indian community in Houston. He will leave for India after his UNGA speech but will meet several global leaders during the event. There is no bilateral meeting scheduled with US President Trump on the sidelines of UNGA, but the two leaders have already met at this month’s G7 Summit in France where PM Modi was a special invitee.
A diplomat at the UN said to a 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.”
Pakistan has tried hard for international attention on J&K since Article 370 was revoked by the Modi government but it hasn’t amounted to much.