Terming India a partner of choice of the UN, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that it has increased its impact on the international stage through donation of medicines, equipment, and vaccines at height of Covid-19 to neighbouring countries.
Addressing the students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Guterres said, “From your donations of medicines, equipment and vaccines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to your humanitarian assistance and development finance to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, you’re increasing impact on the international stage. India is today a partner of choice of the UN.” UN Chief, who arrived in Mumbai today, said that India’s digital platform Cowin is the largest vaccination program for Covid-19 which is delivering more than 2 billion doses.
He further said that India was the first country to launch a single-country south-south cooperation support framework via the India-UN development framework partnership.
Talking about India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping, Guterres said, “India is also the biggest provider of military and police personnel to UN missions, including the first all-women UN police contingent to a peacekeeping mission. Over 200,000 Indian men and women have served in 49 peacekeeping missions since 1948, a remarkable contribution to peace in the world. “
“As a member of UNSC for two years, India’s contributed significantly to promoting multilateral solutions and addressing crises,” he added.
In the opening of his statement, UN Chief said that he is delighted to celebrate with India, the 75th anniversary of independence. He also congratulated India on its achievement over the last 75 years “as the world’s largest democracy and now as the fastest-growing major economy.”
Guterres said that India was a founding member of the United Nations. The drafters of the UN Charter took great inspiration from Gandhiji’s message of peace, non-violence, and tolerance.
Earlier, UN Chief paid tributes to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai.