UN leadership and developing countries hail India’s contribution to global good | Latest India News
“India is a multilateral institution in its own right when it comes to its commitment to humanity… It is not only the fifth largest economy in the world, but it is the largest economy in terms of heart, compassion, of humanity and putting life first. profits.”
As Guyana’s Foreign Minister Hugh Hilton Todd spoke about the role India has played in assisting Caribbean countries in its handling of the pandemic, particularly with the supply of vaccines, there was emotion and a sense of deep gratitude in his voice. “Can you imagine this is a country that has to take care of 1.3 billion of its citizens, but finds the time to help the world? “, he added with wonder.
It is this sense of wonder and recognition of India’s post-independence journey, coupled with hope for its future and hope that India will continue to contribute to global public goods, that has marked a special event to celebrate [email protected] and India’s special partnership with the United Nations (UN), on the sidelines of the UNGA, in New York on Saturday. The event was organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, headed by the Permanent Representative of India, Ruchira Khamboj.
And the message came from all directions, with the UNGA President attending the event in person during the busiest week of the year for him; the UN Under-Secretary-General (SG) reading the SG’s message on this occasion; the French Foreign Minister sends a message; and the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica, Tanzania, Maldives, Gambia, Timor-Leste, Cyprus and Yemen welcoming the contribution of India from vaccines to food security, from development projects to international peacekeeping.
For India, it was a proud moment but also a moment when it strongly sent a message of commitment to multilateralism and solidarity with the Global South, and the United Nations and the Global South returned the favor with all its vigor.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said he had a story to tell. “This year, India celebrates its 75th anniversary. In the 18th century, India accounted for a quarter of the world’s GDP. In the middle of the 20th century, colonialism made us one of the poorest nations in the world. This was our state when we became founding members of the UN. Today, India stands proudly before you as the fifth largest economy in the world. And it is the strongest, the most enthusiastic and certainly the most argumentative democracy.
Jaishankar explained that India’s development relies on a digital public infrastructure designed to ensure that no one is left behind. “India today projects itself as a developed country by 2047. We dream of digitizing our remotest villages and landing on the moon and maybe even digitizing it.”
And through this trip, he said, India has benefited from a partnership with the UN and its agencies. He then listed India’s own contribution to the global good – the India-UN Development Partnership Fund is the first-ever South-South single country initiative and spans 66 projects in 51 countries; a quarter of a million Indian personnel have participated in UN peacekeeping operations, more than any other country in the world; his leadership of the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure helps countries with clean energy and fights the climate crisis; provision of vaccines during the pandemic; and food aid, as the conflict in Ukraine has “aggravated food and energy inflation to make it one of the greatest challenges of our time”.
Csaba Kőrösi, the GA chairman, wished India a “diamond jubilee”, adding that it was preceded by thousands of years of its civilizational history. He said the UN had spent the past week unpacking various interrelated crises. But one thing was clear. “These are hard and difficult times. We are living in a time of paradigm shift. So far, we have not been able to analyze all the symptoms, but the conditions for global cooperation have changed. We are entered a new era, a new chapter in history.
And it is in this context that as home to one-sixth of humanity, India’s “leadership and strong voice” mattered. The UNGA President highlighted that India is at the forefront of digital public infrastructure, both in terms of innovative governance and citizen services. “The international community has much to learn from India.” He added that during his tenure, he aimed to bridge the gap between the north and the south of the world, and that India’s experiences and partnership in this regard would be very helpful.
The message from UNSG Antonio Guterres, read by DSG Amina Mohammed, quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message at the last UNGA, “When India reforms, the world transforms”. The SG said that India would play a pivotal role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and acknowledged India’s post-independence development path, in terms of poverty reduction and growth, life expectancy and health, education, food production and solar capacity.
But just as in the case of Guyana, the most heartfelt messages came from the foreign ministers of countries that had benefited from India’s support.
Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith recalled the devastating consequences of the pandemic for her country and said she had never felt so “helpless” as when seeking vaccines. “When I spoke to Dr Jaishankar, it gave me hope.” Jamaica’s vaccination campaign began with India supplying doses of vaccine and for this, at a time when others were withholding their support, Jamaica was deeply grateful to India. She also noted that it was also India that provided vaccines to protect UN peacekeepers, blue helmets.
Tanzanian Foreign Minister Liberata Mulamula brought the house to life with her energy and said, “Our countries agree on everything. We are committed to ending colonialism, non-alignment, South-South cooperation, combating climate change, the SDGs and working together to maintain world peace and participate in peacekeeping operations together .
Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, who has completed his tenure as UNGA Chair, said, “The Maldives is counting on India’s leadership in multilateral forums.” He acknowledged India’s support in areas covering disaster relief, pandemic and vaccines, economic recovery and aid to water-related infrastructure in 34 of his country’s islands. Yemen thanked India for providing food at a time of dire need in recent months.
At the end of the event, hours before he was due to deliver his speech at UNGA, Jaishankar tweeted, “In #UNGA India speaks normally to the world. This morning at [email protected], the world talked about India… This morning at [email protected], a foreign minister said she was carrying the Maitri vaccine. Another, also from the Global South, noted that while India may be the 5th largest economy, it was one with the biggest heart. How not to have a good day after that!