India has informed the United Nations that it will increase its production capacity as new Indian vaccines come on stream, emphasizing that the supply chain of raw materials should be kept open as COVID-19 vaccines are distributed around the world. Every corner needs to be reached.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said on Friday that India has provided medical aid and subsequent vaccines to many countries across the world.
“We meet at a time when the Covid crisis is not near the end. However, with the introduction of vaccines, hopefully we will finally be able to turn the corner,” he said, speaking at the General Debate of the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on ‘Crisis, Resilience and Recovery – Rapid Progress Towards’ ‘2030 Agenda’.
“As mentioned by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, we will restart it and work closely with other partners to end this pandemic. For this the supply chain of raw materials will have to be kept open. We will increase the production capacity as soon as new Indian vaccines come in stream,” said Mr. Tirumurti.
India will resume exporting surplus COVID-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ‘Vaccine Friendship’ program and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.
The government had halted the export of COVID-19 vaccines after the second wave of the pandemic hit the country in April. India has exported over 66 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries through grants, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility.
Addressing world leaders at the high-level General Assembly session last month, PM Modi had said that India is engaged in vaccine development and manufacturing despite limited resources.
India’s digital vaccine delivery platform CoWIN has supported its vaccine campaign, Mr. Tirumurti said, adding that Modi has announced that India has introduced this CoWIN platform to the world as a global public good.
“We are bridging the digital divide by leveraging technology solutions that are low-cost, developmental and designed to empower all citizens, especially women,” he said.
Mr Tirumurti told the General Assembly that the disruption caused by the pandemic has adversely affected the global South.
“Many of our ambitions and goals, including the path to the Sustainable Development Goals, have been thrown out of gear,” he said.
He said the message to the world is that the international community should come together to combat the pandemic and build a resilient system that drives global recovery.
“International institutions have been slow to react initially, but have finally started to piece together their work in a more coordinated manner. The Indian ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – The World is One Family’ should show us the way to build better,” said Mr. Tirumurti.
Emphasizing that digital technology is already a game changer, Mr. Tirumurti said that its usefulness will only increase as a force multiplier during this period of construction.