India PM urges UN to rethink priorities for the 21st century

FILE PHOTO: India's PM Modi visits Greece

By Arpan Chaturvedi and Rupam Jain

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the United Nations to reform in line with 21st century realities to ensure the representation of voices that matter, according to an interview published on Sunday.

A "mid-20th century approach cannot serve the world in the 21st century", Modi, who will host a summit of the Group of 20 big economies from next weekend, told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Modi, leader of the world's most populous country and aspirant to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, is seeking to boost India's status and promote its causes, such as relief for unsustainable debt, using the global pulpit of the G20 summit starting Sept. 9.

He reiterated his support in the interview for the African Union to become a full member of the G20.

The two-day summit will showcase India's highest-profile guest list ever, from U.S. President Joe Biden to French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"International institutions need to recognise changing realities, relook at their priorities," Modi said, adding it was critical to ensure the representation of voices. "India's G20 presidency also sowed seeds of confidence in countries of so-called third world."

Modi, 72, said India's G20 presidency has led to the recognition that anti-inflation policies in one country do not harm others.

Inflation hits India's many poor people especially hard. Economists in a Reuters poll have sharply raised their inflation forecasts for this quarter, expecting price rises to stay above the central bank's 6% limit until at least October.

Modi called for global cooperation in fighting cyber crime, saying, "Terrorists using dark net, metaverse, cryptocurrency to fulfil nefarious aims can have implications for social fabric of nations."

(Reporting by Arpan Chaturvedi; Editing by William Mallard)