Context: On United Nations’ 75th Anniversary, the Indian PM virtually addressed the United Nations at the High-Level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), his first since India was overwhelmingly elected as a non-permanent member of the powerful Security Council last month.

About UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

  • The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the world body. 
  • It is mandated to offer direction to and undertake the coordination of the economic, social, and cultural activities of the UN with responsibility for advancing international economic and social cooperation and development.
  • Headquarters location: New York, United States
  • ECOSOC’s inaugural presidency in 1946 was held by Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar of India.

More about news:

  • The PM addressed the ECOSOC gathering virtually, along with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
  • The theme of this year’s High-Level Segment is ‘Multilateralism after COVID-19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary’.
  • The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that “At this pivotal moment, with COVID-19 still spreading, geopolitical tensions rising, and the cry for racial justice, social justice and climate justice ever more urgent, we have a responsibility to respond to the anxieties, fears and hopes of the people we serve.

Key takeaways from PM’s speech:

  • Reformed multilateralism with a reformed United Nations: The path to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity is through multilateralism.
    • The pandemic provides the context for UNO’s rebirth and reform indicating India’s push for a permanent seat in a more globally representative United Nations Security Council.
    • The multilateral system needs to be more representative.
  • India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: PM said that India has extended assistance to more than 150 countries, and helped set up a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) COVID-19 emergency fund in the South Asian neighbourhood. 
    • India’s grassroots health system is helping India ensure one of the best recovery rates in the world.

He also mentioned the government package of $300 billion to “bring the economy back on track, build modern infrastructure and put in place a technology-driven system”.

Image Source: United Nations Website