UN Secretary General calls India global leader in COVID19 pandemic response efforts
He said that India’s vaccines will bring much needed supply to the global vaccine market
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appreciated India’s role as a first responder to COVID-19 in the region and expressed gratitude over India’s offer of 200,000 doses of the vaccines for UN peacekeepers.
Weighing up India’s contribution as a global leader in pandemic response efforts, the United Nations Secretary General also lauded India’s efforts to support and strengthen the COVAX Facility.
In a letter dated February 17 to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Guterres wrote, “Indeed, India has been a global leader in pandemic response efforts having provided critical medicines, diagnostic kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment to more than 150 countries”.
Recognizing that India’s vaccines will bring much needed supply to the global vaccine market, Guterres added, “Efforts by India in developing and manufacturing one of the two vaccines currently granted Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organization bring a much-needed supply to the global vaccine market.”
The UN Secretary General also lauded the continued efforts to support and strengthen the COVAX facility to ensure more equitable access to the vaccine.
Speaking at a UNSC Open Debate last week, Jaishankar had said that India had supplied Coronavirus vaccines to 25 countries and that 49 more nations are in line for the Indian Made Vaccines. Telling his counterparts to strengthen the COVAX facility, he had argued that ‘Vaccine nationalism’ must stop.
He had also suggested the need for persisting with the vaccination drive, collaborating on genomic surveillance and exchange of information, effectively addressing public resistance to vaccines and improving public health infrastructure and building capacity.