India backs Antonio Guterres for second term as UN chief, pushes to increase vaccine supply
The first major meeting at the United Nations during Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to New York was his meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday.
Jaishankar and Guterres discussed how to tackle the second and more virulent wave of Covid-19, the need to ensure access to vaccines for all, climate change, security concerns, peacekeeping, terrorism and also the situation in Afghanistan.
High on Jaishankar’s agenda was Covid-19 and the severe vaccine shortage India faces.
A statement issued by the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in New York said: “The Secretary-General has expressed his solidarity with the government and people of India in their efforts against the recent wave of pandemic of Covid-19. “
While appreciating the Secretary-General’s efforts to facilitate “Vaccines for All”, the statement said India reiterated the need for “resilient supply chains”.
Jaishankar and Guterres “discussed the need to increase global vaccine production through expanded supply chains”. The MEA statement added: “This was imperative to ensure a more equitable distribution of vaccines around the world in the days to come. India and South Africa’s proposal to waive vaccine patents from TRIPS may also contribute to greater production and greater fairness. “
A warm and comprehensive meeting with the UN Secretary-General @antonioguterres.
Discussed the Covid challenge, highlighting the importance of finding urgent and effective global vaccine solutions Strengthening the vaccine supply chain is essential to ensure greater production and more equitable distribution pic.twitter.com/fDAwTyNCRt
– Dr S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 25, 2021
In a series of tweets, Jaishankar wrote: “A warm and comprehensive meeting with UN Secretary General @antonioguterres. Discussed the Covid challenge, highlighting the importance of finding urgent and effective global vaccine solutions. Strengthening the vaccine supply chain is essential to ensure greater production and more equitable distribution. “
The two sides also engaged on the issue of tackling climate change and global warming, where the two leaders agreed that greater “ambitions” required more “resources” and greater “commitment” from the community. part of the developed world.
“EAM and the Secretary General discussed ongoing global efforts to address the challenges of climate change. EAM briefed the Secretary General on India’s efforts to meet its Paris commitments, strengthen renewable energy targets, as well as its leadership role within the International Solar Alliance and Coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure, ”the statement read.
This is Jaishankar’s first visit to the UN in New York after India became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. This would be an opportunity to discuss in detail New Delhi’s approach to the UNSC program.
“EAM presented India’s priorities for its presidency of the Security Council in August 2021, including high-level events on maritime security and on technology and peacekeeping. He underscored our strong development partnership with Africa, small states and small island developing states. “
The statement added: “The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude for the continued role played by Indian peacekeepers in promoting international peace and security. Their response by helping the people of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the volcanic eruption has been recognized.
On this issue of Afghanistan, without naming Pakistan, the statement said the two sides discussed regional challenges in the “neighborhood” and shared “concerns” about ensuring that “the gains of the past two decades in Afghanistan are properly protected ”.
“The fight against terrorism and radicalization remain priorities for the whole region,” the statement added. They also discussed recent developments in Myanmar.
In addition, India has supported Secretary General Guterres’ candidacy for a second term. Guterres has already garnered the support of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the non-aligned movement, leading some observers to believe his re-election is almost a certainty.
“EAM said India values the leadership of the United Nations Secretary-General, especially in these difficult times. He expressed India’s support for his candidacy for re-election for a second term, ”the statement said.
He took office on January 1, 2017 for a five-year term after the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Security Council’s choice by acclamation on October 13, 2016.