Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reached New York where he is scheduled to address the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which had gone virtual last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modi flew to New York from Washington after holding his first bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House and attended his first in-person Quad summit on Friday.

The prime minister and his counterparts – Scott Morrison of Australia and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga – attended the meeting of Quad leaders hosted by US President Biden in the US capital.

“Landed in New York City. Will be addressing the UNGA at 6:30 PM (IST) on the 25th,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

Modi will address the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday. The theme for this year’s General Debate is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations’.

As per the second provisional list of speakers for the General Assembly, about 109 heads of state and government will address the General Debate in person and nearly 60 will deliver speeches through pre-recorded video statements.

Modi had last addressed the UN General Assembly session in 2019. Last year, world leaders had submitted pre-recorded video statements for the United Nations General Assembly session in September, as heads of state and government could not physically attend the annual gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the first time in the UN’s 75-year history that the high-level session had gone virtual. This year too, the option has been kept open for the world leaders to send in pre-recorded statements since the pandemic continues to rage across several nations around the world. 

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