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  • The World Bank recently said it is discontinuing its flagship Doing Business publication, citing data irregularities in recent editions of the global business climate index.

If the UN wants to remain relevant, it will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, underlining the need to strengthen the world body to safeguard global order, laws and values.

Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly here, the prime minister quoted great Indian diplomat Chanakya's words "when the right action is not taken at the right time, then it is time itself that causes the action to fail" to push his view.

"If the United Nations wants to remain relevant. It will need to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability," he said.

Modi said that today, all kinds of questions have been raised about the UN.

"We have seen such questions being raised, related to the climate crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

The World Health Organisation, the UN's health agency, has faced criticism since the Covid-19 outbreak first surfaced in China in December 2019.

WHO faced criticism for mishandling the crisis.

Former US president Donald Trump slammed the WHO as a "puppet" of China and accused it of covering up the start of the outbreak and allowing the virus to spread around the entire world.

"The proxy war going on in many parts of the world, terrorism and the recent crisis in Afghanistan have further highlighted the seriousness of these questions," the Prime Minister said.

"With regard to the origin of COVID-19 and the ease of doing business rankings, institutions of global governance have damaged the credibility they had built after decades of hard work," he said.

The World Bank recently said it is discontinuing its flagship Doing Business publication, citing data irregularities in recent editions of the global business climate index.

The decision was taken after a probe of data irregularities allegedly due to pressure by some top bank officials to boost China's ranking in 2017 came to light.

"It is essential that we constantly strengthen the UN, in order to safeguard global order, global laws and global values," Modi said.

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