India's Positive Message at UNGA 2019

Anubhav Gupta on Times Now

ASPI Associate Director Anubhav Gupta joined Times Now outside the United Nations in New York City on September 27, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the 74th UN General Assembly. The conversation covered what Modi would discuss in his speech as well as India and Pakistan's broader priorities while in New York for the UN meetings. 

On September 26, Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan delivered a speech at the Asia Society as part of his campaign to draw international attention to Kashmir. According to Gupta, in his speech Khan "criticized India for its actions in Kashmir. He had some controversial statements where he said PM Modi has a racist policy in India. And finally, he insisted that he has a message of peace and dialogue." Gupta adds, "whether the world is going to listen, whether the world takes him skeptically, is still an open question.” Gupta goes on to explain that while United States government officials have not pressured India on Kashmir, they expect India to live up to its claim that its measures in Kashmir are "temporary." 

Gupta notes that "unlike Prime Minister Khan" India has a positive message at the UN. “Prime Minister Modi can talk about his positive agenda on the development front and on the climate front, which are two priorities for the United Nations. He’s going to talk about how he has made improvements through electrification, financial inclusion, and India’s ambitious solar mission. India has started to become a leader on these issues, and has made progress on the sustainable development goals, which is a big priority for the United Nations.”

He explains that this is "a sign of how far India has come in the last two decades, where India is really seen as a global power, a global leader on the world stage which has a positive agenda.” He also praises India for its position on climate change. “It’s really positive because, you know, [Modi] would have a very easy excuse [not to act] – [by saying] our priority is development, and we need to just focus on that... But by saying that no, everyone has a responsibility, and India will do its part... it sends a message to other developing countries in the world...that this climate fight is something that is one for the entire world to take on.”