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Ladies and Gentlemen,
This yearwe celebrate the75th Anniversaryof the founding of the United Nations.It is an occasionto recognise the UN'smany contributions to human progress. It is also an opportunity to assess the UN's role and relevancein today's World,and to shape a better future for it.
Indiawas among the 50 founding membersof the United Nationsimmediately after the Second World War.A lot has changed since then.Today the UN brings together193 member countries.Along with its membership,the expectationsfrom the organisationhave also grown.At the same time multilateralism is facing many challenges today.
From the very beginning,India has actively supportedthe UN's development workand the ECOSOC.The first president of ECOSOCwas an Indian.India also contributedto shaping the ECOSOC agenda,including theSustainable Development Goals. Today, through our domestic efforts,we are again playing a salient role in achieving Agenda 2030and the Sustainable Development Goals.We are also supportingother developing countriesin meeting their Sustainable Development Goals.
India is hometo one-sixth of humanity. We are mindfulof our weightand responsibility.We know thatif India succeeds in achievingits development objectives,it will go a long way in achievement of global goals.And sowe have taken "whole-of-society" approach- by engaging our States,our local governments,our civil society,communities and our people.
Our motto is'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwas'- meaning'Together, for everyone's growth,with everyone's trust'.This resonates with the core SDG principle ofleaving no one behind.Be it access to nutrition ,healtheducation,electricityor housing- we are making great progressthrough our inclusive programmes.
Last year,we celebratedthe 150th birth anniversaryof the Father of our Nation,Mahatma Gandhi,by achieving full sanitation coveragein our six hundred thousand villages.
In five years,we built over 110 million household toilets,which improved our rural sanitation coverfrom 38 % to 100 %. Our massive awareness generation programmesare empowering our women.We have achievedgender parity in elementary and secondary education.Nearly 70 million womenin rural Indiaare part of self-help groupsunder our Livelihood Mission.They are transforming lives and livelihoodson a big scale.Over a million womenare elected representativesof our local governments,leading the process ofparticipatory development.In the last six years,we opened 400 million bank accountsfor the unbanked,out of which220 million are owned by women.We have leveraged the power of technologyfor financial inclusion.This is basedon the trinity of aunique identity number, a bank account,and a mobile connectionfor everyone.It has allowed us to make Direct Benefit Transfersof 150 billion dollars to over 700 million persons.Our food security programmesreach 813 million citizens.
Our &lsquoHousing for All&rsquo programme will ensure thatevery Indian will havea safe and secure roofover her head by 2022,when India completes75 years as an independent nation.By then, 40 million new homeswould have been madeunder this programme- more than the total number of householdsin many countries.Today,our &lsquoAyushmaan Bharat&rsquo schemeis the world's largest health protection programme,covering 500 million individuals.In the fight against COVID,our grass-roots health systemis helping India ensureone of the best recovery ratesin the world.We are also on track to remove TBby 2025.Other developing countriescan learn from the scaleand success of India's development programmes. And from the technologiesand innovationswe have deployed.It is this realisationthat under-pins India's own development partnershipwith the global South.
While marching forwardon the path to development,we are not forgettingour responsibility towards our planet.Over the past few years,we have reduced38 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.This was achievedby electrifying our villages,providing clean cooking fuelto 80 million poor households,and introduction ofenergy efficient measures.We have set a targetto install 450 Gigawatt of renewable energyand restore26 million hectaresof degraded land by 2030.We havean age-old tradition ofliving in harmonywith nature.We launchedone of the largest campaignsfor cleanlinessand discouragedusage of single-use plastic.Internationally,our Initiative to set upthe International Solar Alliancewas a practical manifestationof climate action.Similarly,the Coalition forDisaster Resilience Infrastructurebrings togetherall relevant stake-holdersfor a comprehensive approach.We have always prided ourselvesas the first responder in our region - a friend in need.Be it earthquakes,cyclonesor any other naturalor man-made crisis,India has respondedwith speed and solidarity. In our joint fight against COVID,we have extendedmedical and other assistanceto over 150 countries.We also helped createa SAARC COVID emergency fundin our neighborhood.
The COVID-19 pandemichas severely testedthe resilience of all nations.In India,we have tried to makethe fight against the pandemic a people's movement,by combiningthe efforts of Government and society.We have giventhe highest priorityto deliver benefitsto poor households.We have announceda packageof more than 300 billion dollars.It will bringthe economy back on track,build modern infrastructureand put in placea technology-driven system.We have put forwarda vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'a self-reliantand Resilient India,integrated with the global economy.
India firmly believesthat the path to achievesustainable peace and prosperityis through multilateralism. As children of planet Earth,we must join handsto address our common challengesand achieve our common goals.However,multilateralism needs to representthe reality of the contemporary world.Only reformed multilateralismwith a reformed United Nationsat its centercan meet the aspirationsof humanity.Today,while celebrating 75 years of the United Nations,let us pledgeto reform the global multilateral system.To enhance its relevance,to improve its effectiveness,and to make it the basisof a new type ofhuman-centric globalisation.The United Nationswas originally bornfrom the furiesof the Second World War.Today,the fury of the pandemicprovides the contextfor its rebirth and reform.Let us not lose this chance.
India has been electedto the United Nations Security Councilat this very important time.With our deep commitmentto maintaining global harmony,to improving socio-economic equity ,and to preserving nature's balance,India will play its rolein full support of the UN agenda.