India, which has shipped 'Made In India' COVID-19 vaccines to around 25 nations, on Wednesday urged the international community to stop vaccine nationalism and actively encourage internationalism, underlining that hoarding superfluous doses will defeat global efforts to attain collective health security and combat the pandemic.
Addressing the UN Security Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated that India will provide 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to UN Peacekeepers as a gift. "Keeping in mind UN Peacekeepers, we would like to announce today a gift of 200,000 vaccine doses for them. We're working actively with GAVI, WHO and ACT Accelerator. Our contribution has also supported the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund," he added.
“Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind” - message of Bhagavad Gita delivered to United Nations Security Council as it discusses COVID vaccines. pic.twitter.com/FraXUk31KG
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 17, 2021
Jaishankar outlined nine points for consideration of the international community to help the world put the COVID-19 pandemic decisively behind it and to emerge more resilient. "Stop 'vaccine nationalism'; indeed, actively encourage internationalism. Hoarding superfluous doses will defeat our efforts towards attaining collective health security," he said, speaking at the open debate on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020) on the cessation of hostilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also emphasised that disinformation campaigns taking advantage of the pandemic to advance their nefarious objectives and activities must be stopped. Jaishankar voiced concern that lack of global coordination regarding vaccine distribution will hit conflict-affected areas and poorer countries the hardest. He cited the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that more than 60 million people in such areas are at risk.
India is also concerned over a "glaring disparity" in accessibility of vaccines globally and Jaishankar emphasised that equity in access to vaccines is important for mitigating the impact of the pandemic. "This disparity calls for cooperation within the framework of COVAX, which is trying to secure adequate vaccine doses for the world's poorest nations," he said. He further called for strengthening the COVAX facility to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines to all countries in a fair and equitable manner.