Prime Minister Narendra Modi headlined India’s scalable and “cost-effective” tech solutions within minutes of beginning his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.
“When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms. The science and technology based innovations taking place in India can make a big contribution to the world. The scalability of our tech solutions, and their cost effectiveness are both unparalleled,” Modi said.
“Over 3.5 billion transactions are taking place every month in India through the unified payment interface (UPI),” he said.
Earlier, Modi began his speech on a deeply personal note, 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 in the first of Saturday’s addresses at the UNGA.
Among Modi’s opening lines: “I represent a country that is proud to be known as the mother of democracy.”
Modi came to New York fresh off the Quad summit on Friday when he also held a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden.
The first in-person leader-level Quad meeting welcomed India’s announcement to resume exports of Covid vaccines, including to 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 comes soon after the 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.
About 15 minutes into his UNGA address, Modi shifted his attention to ripping Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s harsh rhetoric targeting India.