This edition of Raisina dialogue takes place at a watershed moment in human history. A global pandemic has been ravaging the world for over a year. The last such Global pandemic was a century ago. Although Humanity has faced many infectious diseases since then, the world today is under-prepared to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister said India tried to protect its 1.3 billion nationals from COVID-19, and, at the same time, tried to support pandemic response efforts of others.
Pitching for global efforts to defeat COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the pandemic has presented an opportunity to reshape the world order and create systems to address the problems of today and challenges of tomorrow, and highlighted India’s efforts in protecting its people as also supporting pandemic response efforts of others in its own “humble way”.
Asserting that mankind will not be able to defeat the pandemic unless “all of us, everywhere, regardless of the colour of our passports, come out of it”, PM Modi said hope matters as much to the citizens of the richest countries as it does to the less fortunate.
What Prime minister Said at Raisina dialogue:
“During this pandemic, in our own humble way, within our own limited resources, we in India have tried to walk the talk. We have tried to protect our own 1.3 billion citizens from the pandemic. At the same time, we have also tried to support pandemic response efforts of others,” the Prime Minister said in his inaugural address at Raisina Dialogue, held virtually.
Noting that this year, despite “many constraints”, India supplied vaccines to over 80 countries, he said,”…we will continue to share our experiences, our expertise and also our resources with the entire Humanity in the fight against the pandemic.”
PM Modi’s comments come amidst criticism by several opposition leaders that the government was exporting COVID-19 vaccines to many countries despite a huge surge in India.
The Prime Minister also underlined the need to think of the entire humanity and not merely of those who are on “our side of the borders”, and said humanity as a whole must be at the center of the thinking and action.
President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen also spoke at the event.
During an interactive session at the conference, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also talked about India’s ”vaccine maitri” approach to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, asserting that equitable access (to vaccines) was “critically important” to defeat the virus.
Talk on India’s “Vaccine maitri” approach at raisina dialogue:
Underlining that in diplomacy, doing good is being smart, the minister said ‘vaccine maitri’ reflects the larger outlook of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one family), asserting that health security is now integral to national security.
The minister said India has given vaccines to over 80 countries that would otherwise not have had access to them. “For small countries, it is not just the ability to buy, but also the wherewithal to access markets. The big debates around globalisation are ‘equity’ and ‘fairness’”, he said.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame thanked India for the vaccines to African countries.
Talking about protecting the globe, PM Modi said,”we may be used to having Plan A and plan B, there is no Planet B, only Planet Earth. And so we must remember that we hold this planet merely as trustees for our future generations.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us an opportunity to reshape the world order, to reorient our thinking. We must create systems that addresses the problems of today and challenges of tomorrow,” he said.