Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the strength of India's diverse and vibrant democracy during his address at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday (September 25).

In his opening remarks, striking a personal note, PM Modi said that the child of a poor tea-seller rose to the country's highest political office and addressed the UN for the fourth time, calling it the strength of Indian democracy.

"I represent a country which is known as the 'Mother of Democracy'. India is a great example of a vibrant democracy. Our democracy is recognised for its diversity. Democracy has been India's great tradition for thousands of years."

PM Modi began his speech by giving tribute to those who lost their lives due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and expressed condolences to the bereaved families.

Watch PM Modi's speech here:

He said, "For the last one and a half years, the world has been grappling with the worst pandemic it has seen in 100 years. I pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in this deadly pandemic and I express my condolences to their families."

During his speech, PM Modi touched upon a range of issues of global concern such as climate change, terrorism and Covid vaccines.

PM Modi arrived in New York after attending his first in-person Quad summit with leaders from Australia, Japan and the US in Washington. The Prime Minister also met US President Joe Biden for their first bilateral meeting at the Oval Office of the White House.

Modi had last addressed the UN General Assembly session in 2019 as last year it was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with world leaders had submitted pre-recorded video statements for the United Nations General Assembly session.

After his address to the General Assembly, Modi will return to India.