Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York on a five-day US visit, his second in as many years, during which he will address world leaders at a landmark UN sustainable development summit and interact with top CEOs and the Indian diaspora in the Silicon Valley.
PM Modi will have a packed agenda for the next two days in the city and then in California from September 26-27.
The Prime Minister was received at the airport by Indian Ambassador Arun K Singh, India's envoy to the UN Asoke Mukerji, Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay and their spouses.
"A packed schedule awaits in the BIg Apple. PM @narendramodi arrives in New York on the first part of his US visit," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted soon after PM Modi's plane touched down at the JFK International Airport here.
PM Modi will return to New York on September 28 for a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama as well as to attend a high-level peacekeeping summit at the United Nations.
On Friday, he will address global heads of state at the Sustainable Development Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when the new and ambitious post-2015 development agenda will be adopted.
India will also host the G-4 summit here on September 26, before PM Modi leaves for the West Coast for a packed two-day trip during when he will have meetings with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google's new CEO Sundar Pichai. He will also attend a grand community reception in San Jose.
PM Modi will also meet President Barack Obama on September 28, his third summit meeting with the President in about a year. Modi is expected to focus on giving a further push to early and urgent reform of the Security Council and to send an "unambiguous message" of "zero tolerance against terrorism".
In a letter to the UN Secretary General in July, he had said that that the UN must be made more effective for dealing with new security challenges as "we are now living in an era when non-state military actors are a major factor."
"We must use this historic year to jointly send an unambiguous message of zero tolerance against terrorism. An important step in this direction would be adopting the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism at the United Nations this year," Modi had written in the letter.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji has said that the Prime Minister's speech at the Sustainable Development summit will focus on "Agenda 2030" since he "has given a lot of attention to the substance of the development agenda."
Earlier, during his Ireland visit, the PM sought Dublin's support for India's membership of UN Security council and international export control regimes including NSG during wide ranging talks with his Irish counterpart which also covered global challenges like terror and radicalisation.
During his nearly five-hour stopover en-route to the US, Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Ireland in 59 years, held talks with his Irish counterpart Enda Kenny after which he hoped that Ireland's visa policy will be sensitive to the requirements of India's IT firms.
"I was pleased to exchange views on a broad range of international challenges, including terrorism, radicalisation and the situation in Europe and Asia," Modi said at a joint media event with Kenny.
He also noted that their discussions underlined the importance of closer cooperation between the two countries which share democratic values and are consistent advocates of international peace and stability.
Thanking Ireland for its support which was crucial for India-specific exemption from Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 2008, Modi said,"I have now sought Ireland's support for India's membership of the NSG and other international export control regimes. India's membership will deepen our bilateral cooperation and strengthen international non-proliferation efforts."
Simply mesmerising! Great to see these children recite in Sanskrit.September 23, 2015
In this context, he asserted that India has been a leading voice on universal nuclear disarmament since Independence and will remain strongly committed to that goal.
"Our credentials and record on non-proliferation are second to none," he said.
The Prime Minister also sought Ireland's support for the reforms of the UNSC within a fixed time frame in particular, for successful conclusion of inter-governmental negotiations in the 70th year of the United Nations.
"I also sought his support for India's permanent membership of the reformed Security Council," Modi added.
On the trade front, he said the bilateral trade and investment ties were growing, despite global and regional uncertainties and the economic partnership can have a strong technology focus information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, agricultural and clean energy.
"I also hope that Ireland's visa policy will be sensitive to the requirements of India's Information Technology firms. I also conveyed our interest in concluding a social security agreement, which will be of great help to professionals from both countries," Modi said.
"India and Ireland are ideally placed to form productive partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital age. I hope that our Joint Working Group on Information Technology will meet soon to chart out the roadmap for collaboration," Modi said.
"I am glad that we will soon have direct air services by airlines of both countries. This will not only promote our business links, but also give a strong boost to our tourism ties that are already growing at 14 per cent per year.
The Prime Minister said science and technology and education are two other areas where India and Ireland have a good history of cooperation, and where the two countries can do much more.
Ireland's Science Centre in Karnataka is one example of that cooperation, he said.
"I leave convinced that India and Ireland must invest more to realise the vast potential of this relationship. India was the first country with which you established diplomatic relations in Asia. We can now be your anchor in Asia.
Similarly, for India, I see Ireland as a vital gateway to Europe and a bridge across the Atlantic," Modi said.
"India and Ireland share much in common. We can compare notes on our shared colonial history. Our Constitutions have something sacred in common. The Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the Irish Constitution," he said.
Modi said Irish experts gave India institutions like the Geological Survey of India and the first Linguistic Survey of India adding that even today, sports manufacturers in India keep Ireland's passion for rugby going.
"From the friendship between Rabindranath Tagore and W B Yeats to the spiritual contribution of Sister Nivedita in India, the Irish and Indian people have formed strong bonds of affinity," he said.
Today, 26,000 Indians constitute a vibrant part of the Irish community and the victims of the 1985 bombing of the Air India Kanishka aircraft find a resting place here, he said.
"In the 30th anniversary year of that tragedy, we thank you once again for the memorial that honours them," Modi said.
"In the pain of their unfading memory, we are also reminded of all that binds us today our values and our aspirations and the challenges that we all face today. India and Ireland must seek closer partnership and cooperation.
India and Ireland are among the fastest growing economies of Asia and Europe.
"Greater sensitivity of the European Union to India's commercial interests and challenges will help us resume discussions on India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement," Modi said.
The last Indian prime minister to visit Ireland was Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956.