From Russia to Ukraine to France: PM Modi and India praised by world leaders at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

Several developing and developed countries have praised India at the current United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session for both its economic and foreign policy.

Some of the most influential people have praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Additionally, Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the UN, emphasised the crucial part that India can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Portugal, Jamaica, and France praised India as well. French President Emmanuel Macron was the first to commend India, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was correct that the time was not right for conflict while making reference to prior comments he made to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It is not for revenge against the West or for opposing the West against the east. It is the time for a collective time for our sovereign equal states. To cope together with challenges, we face,” Macron said.

In his address to a special “India@75” event on exhibiting the “India-UN Partnership in Action,” UN head Guterres emphasised that India, as the country with the largest youth generation in history, will be crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Looking ahead, India, home to the largest youth generation in history will be decisive in the success of the Sustainable Development Goals, and reiterating Prime Minister Modi – as you reform, the world transforms,” Guterres said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “explicitly’ backed India for a permanent seat, straight 60 minutes after he met up with his Indian counterpart.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that his nation views India as a “key international actor” and a “worthy candidate for the Council’s permanent membership.

Jamaica’s Foreign Minister Kamina J. Smith was another prominent representative to laud India and express gratitude for its support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith said that Kingston is grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government, and its people for the vaccines during the pandemic. India is a trustworthy partner, the foreign minister stated while speaking at a high-level UN General Assembly session in this country. “From the very onset, India was a reliable partner whose assistance was critical to our pandemic response. India embraced a holistic and outward-looking vaccine diplomacy strategy. Jamaica was able to secure its first life-saving vaccines from India,” she said in New York.

Guyana Foreign Minister Hugh Hilton Todd also hailed India in UNGA. “Small countries like Guyana would have benefitted immensely from India’s growth trajectory as it has always been an economy that focuses on human development, putting humans ahead of any other form of development,” he said.

Antonio Costa, the prime minister of Portugal, advocated for a reform of the UN Security Council on Thursday, saying that it should include the inclusion of Brazil, India, and the African continent. Speaking before the General Assembly, Costa argued in favour of a Security Council that includes a broad perspective on security and fairly represents minor nations.

Speaking about the long-delayed issue of UN reforms, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar claimed that this week saw a “change” in public opinion on the topic among world leaders.

“In respect of UN reform, every General Assembly (session) you revisit that issue, but this time something has shifted. You can see that, you can sense that,” Jaishankar told reporters on Saturday.

“I think everybody sensed a shift and it’s something which others actually brought up with me,” he added.