Terrorism and the abrogation of Article 370 which gave special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir, will not be on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Thursday. Instead, the Indian prime minister will focus on highlighting India's achievements and its global role.
"Article 370 is an internal issue, there will be no discussion on it in the UN, we will have no discussion on it," Gokhale said when asked if India would share its perspective during Modi’s high-level bilateral and multilateral meetings in the US.
"Our prime minister will focus on what the high-level segment of the UNGA is meant to focus on which is - as an important economy, as an important country, as a responsible member of the UN - PM will flag what we are doing for development, for security, for peace and our expectations and aspirations of other countries," he added.
Apart from addressing the annual UNGA session, Modi is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with United States President Donald Trump in New York on September 24. In fact, the prime minister intends to hold as many as 20 bilateral meetings with leaders from all continents, Gokhale said.
Modi is scheduled to touch down in Houston where he will first attend a round table with several chief executives from the energy sector, followed by the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event which is likely to see a gathering of over 50,000 Indian-Americans.
"We are expecting more than 50,000 people from the diaspora and it will be the largest that he (Modi) has done in the US," Gokhale said.
This will be Modi’s third address to the Indian diaspora in the US, after Madison Square Garden in 2014 and San Jose in 2015. The ‘Howdy, Modi’ event will also see Trump join the Indian leader to address the Indian-American community.
The Indian prime minister is then expected to have a separate interactive session with members of the US Congress, after which he will leave for New York.
On September 23, there will be several multilateral events lined up, beginning with the Climate Summit organised by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres which Modi will be attending.
The prime minister will showcase what India has done to address climate change issues and also spell out India's expectations and aspirations from the international community to address "this very pressing problem," Gokhale said.
Other events will include a leadership dialogue on the strategic responses to terrorists and violent extremist narratives, he added.
September 24 will see a special event to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, where Modi will be joined by leaders of countries such as New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore.
The event will see the inauguration of the Gandhi Solar Park - installation of solar panels on the rooftop of the UN headquarters in New York from India's grant of USD 1 million along with the opening of the Gandhi peace garden at the State University of New York campus of Old Westbury, and the release of a UN postage stamp on Gandhi.
On the same day, Modi will also receive an award by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for the Swachh Bharat campaign.
September 25 will see him delivering the keynote address at the plenary of the Bloomberg global business forum, followed by an investment roundtable organised by India.
Modi will then address the UNGA on September 27, after which he will return to India.
During the course of his visit, Modi will also co-chair two plurilateral meetings the India Pacific Islands Leaders meeting and the India-Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also be in New York and will hold several meetings.