India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that India’s capacity to manufacture and deliver vaccines – at a scale more than any other country in the world – will be used to benefit the world in battling the virus, he said, virtually addressing the United Nations, General Assembly.
“As the largest vaccine-producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today,” Modi said in a pre-recorded UN speech on Saturday.
India’s capacity to deliver and produce vaccines will be used to help ‘all humanity’ fight the crisis, the PM said with exuding grace in the 75th Assembly address.
“We have never hesitated from sharing,” he said highlighting India’s principled contribution to the allies in aiding at times of need and sharing the valuable learned experiences with the world.
“Even during this difficult situation of the pandemic, India’s pharma industry has sent essential medicines to more than 150 nations,” Modi said.
He also shared, India is moving ahead with the Phase III clinical trial of the vaccine in India as well as in the neighbouring countries.
“For the delivery of vaccines, India will also aid in strengthening the capacity of the cold chain and store for the same,” Modi told the Assembly.
Modi’s statement comes shortly after India became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, earlier this year. From January 2021, India will also duly fulfill her duty at the Security Council as a non-permanent member, Modi assured.
In July, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates affirmatively spoke on similar lines like Modi. “You know, more vaccines are made in India than anywhere – starting with Serum Institute, that’s the largest,” Gates was quoted as saying.
“I am excited that the pharmaceutical industry there will be able to produce not just for India but also for the entire world,” Bill Gates said.
Modi’s reassuring help for humanity comes after UN chief Antonio Guterres emphasized on Tuesday that some countries are “reportedly making side deals exclusively for their own populations.”
The Australian PM Scott Morrison reinstated the need to share a vaccine with the world and cautioned against settling with “short- term advantage, or even profit” from nationalizing a proven vaccine.
“But I assure you,” Morrisons said referring to the implication of a possible ‘vaccinationalism’ that “to anyone who may think along those lines, humanity will have a very long memory and be a very, very severe judge.”
UN Chief Guterres has proposed a ‘people’s vaccine’ since the beginning of the pandemic and has cautioned against the odds of vaccine nationalism where countries hoard for vaccines for their citizens, ignoring the rest.
“Such ‘vaccinationalism’ is not only unfair, it is self-defeating. None of us is safe until all of us are safe. Everybody knows that” he told the General Assembly.
India’s remarks at the UN General Assembly comes at a time when India is just behind the US in terms of the number of confirmed infections.
At over 5.7 million cases, India is the second-worst affected country in the world from the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan China, later last year.