In an apparent dig at Pakistan, Indian Ambassador to United Nations, TS Tirumurti said on Thursday that despite the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire during the pandemic, ‘regressive activities’ like support to terrorism and aggression have increased in certain countries. He added that such acts have worsened the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
Speaking at the Joint Meeting of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Tirumurti said it is important that countries do not take advantage of the pandemic to encourage terrorism and aggression, or indulge in infodemic to divide societies and communities.
“However, in spite of the UN Secretary-General’s call for a ceasefire and while countries like India are trying our best to contribute to the global response to COVID, we see that such regressive activities have only increased, further worsening the socio-economic impact of COVID,” he said.
At the onset of the impact of Coronavirus in March, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had issued an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire across the world to focus together on the true fight against the pandemic. Tirumurti said that India has been at the forefront of promoting global solidarity and response to COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the pandemic has raged across the world, India has not let that scale down our engagement with the rest of the world in the sphere of peacebuilding and the more immediate COVID response,” he said.
India provides medical aid to over 150 countries
The Ambassador noted that earlier this year, India immediately responded to a call from UN Secretary-General and deployed two medical teams at its peacekeeping hospital facilities in Goma, Congo for MONUSCO and Juba, South Sudan for UNMISS respectively.
Tirumurti also highlighted India’s contribution to the “Pipeline to Peacekeeping Command Programme” with a specific focus on issues of conduct and discipline. The peacekeeping related programme, over a period of three years, will help develop the capacity of future commanders and managers to lead by example and raise awareness of UN standards of conduct among their personnel, he said.
“Peacebuilding has an important role in the conflict-sensitive response, which inter alia, should respond to the immediate requirements of our partners. In this context, India has immediately repositioned the focus of the US$ 150 million India-UN Development Partnership Fund to support COVID-19 pandemic related projects in developing countries, including in SIDS. The funds facilitated emergency procurement of ventilators and COVID-19 testing equipment, enhancing hospital capacities and supporting small businesses,” he added.
The envoy underlined that India extended medical aid to more than 150 countries, pledged US$ 15 million to GAVI, and operationalised the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund with an initial contribution of US$ 10 million.
“We have pledged to contribute the US$ 1 million to ASEAN COVID Fund. India has activated its e-ITEC capacity-building network to deliver medical expertise content for the training of healthcare personnel of partnering developing countries. As the world’s largest vaccine producing country, Prime Minister Modi has pledged to deploy its vaccine production and delivery capacity to assist all humanity in fighting this crisis,” he said.
Source: Republic World