October 2021 \ News \ PM AT UNGA
“Democracy can deliver”

By Nikhila Natarajan
  • Mr Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck a deeply personal note in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2021, rewinding to his roots as a “poor boy” who sold tea in a small town and rose to the country’s highest political office.

“Democracy can deliver. Democracy has delivered,” he said within minutes of kicking off the weekend leg of UNGA speeches. Mr Modi came to New York fresh off the Quad summit the day before when he also held a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

The first in-person leader-level Quad meeting welcomed India’s announcement to resume exports of Covid vaccines, including COVAX, beginning October 2021.

The triage between Japan, Australia and India on this effort headlines immediate deliverables while offering a lens into what the Quad seeks to stand for. In a joint statement, Quad leaders Modi, Scott Morrison of Australia and Yoshihide Suga of Japan and US President Biden slammed terrorist proxies and cross-border attacks, without naming Pakistan or China.

This messaging came soon after US withdrawal from Afghanistan and deepening mistrust between the US and Pakistan, which remains important to US intelligence because of its proximity to Taliban leaders now in charge of the war-torn nation.

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