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India, US reaffirm strategic partnership at bilateral meeting of UN envoys

India and the US reaffirmed their strategic partnership and efforts to strengthen multilateralism, during a meeting between the UN envoys of the two democracies on Sunday

US India relations  | United Nations

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

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India and the US reaffirmed their strategic partnership and efforts to strengthen multilateralism, during a meeting between the UN envoys of the two democracies on Sunday, as Washington praised New Delhi for supplying critical COVID-19 vaccines across the world.

US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, held a series of bilateral meetings with her UN Security Council counterparts.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, on Twitter, wrote that during the meeting with Thomas-Greenfield the two sides reaffirmed their strategic partnership.

"Pleasure to meet new @USAmbUN Permanent Representative @LindaT_G and discuss priorities of US Presidency of @UN #SecurityCouncil," Tirumurti tweeted.

We reaffirmed our strategic partnership. India's vaccine contribution was welcomed. We'll work together to strengthen multilateralism, he tweeted.

Beginning its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the powerful 15-nation council in January, India had said it comes into the Security Council as the largest democracy in the world, representing one-sixth of humanity and "with a strong commitment to reformed multilateralism, rule of law, fair and equitable international system, peace, security and development."

Thomas-Greenfield, who formally presented her credentials to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last week, asserted that "multilateralism is back, and diplomacy is back, and America is back, and we're ready to get to work."

Ahead of the US assuming the Security Council presidency on March 1 for the month, Thomas-Greenfield held meetings with all 14 of the Permanent Representatives to the UN on the Security Council.

"In meetings with the Permanent Representatives to the from Estonia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Niger, Tunisia, and Vietnam, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield discussed the upcoming US presidency of the UN Security Council and conveyed the Biden administration's commitment to renewed engagement with the international community," United States Mission Spokesperson Olivia Dalton said in a statement.

In her discussions, Thomas-Greenfield raised issues of mutual interest and concern, including US policy on regional issues, opportunities for future cooperation at the UN, shared priorities in the UN Security Council, and the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, Dalton said in the statement.

India's efforts and contribution towards providing critical supplies of the COVID-19 vaccines around the world are being widely applauded, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hailing India for being a global leader in pandemic response efforts. India has provided coronavirus vaccines, critical medicines, diagnostic kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment to more than 150 countries.

India has also announced a gift of 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses for UN Peacekeepers, ensuring that it will be possible to administer the required double doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the 94,484-UN Peacekeepers across the 12 missions.

Under the initiative 'Vaccine Maitri' -- translates to 'Vaccine Friendship' -- India is providing immunisation doses to the world.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had told the Security Council last week that India is a significant contributor to the international vaccine alliance, COVAX, and that it was also directly sending vaccines to friends and partners.

"Starting with our immediate neighbours, 25 nations across the world have already received 'Made in India' vaccines. Forty-nine more countries will be supplied in the coming days, ranging from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands, Jaishankar had said.

Guterres had said that efforts by India in developing and manufacturing one of the two vaccines currently granted 'Emergency Use Listing' by the World Health Organisation brought much-needed supply to the global vaccine market.

Two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine were given the WHO's 'Emergency Use Listing'.

The versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, produced by AstraZeneca-SK Bioscience (AZ-SKBio) and the Serum Institute of India (AZ-SII), are now available for global rollout through the COVAX Facility.

Addressing reporters at the Security Council stakeout, after presenting her credentials to Guterres, Thomas-Greenfield had said that the is the world's "most important forum" for bringing people and countries together.

She said the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris knows that "when America is at the table and acting in accordance with our values, the United States is an indispensable institution" for the advancement of peace, security, and collective well-being.

We're clear-eyed about the difficult work that needs to be done, from elevating human rights to reforming the UN itself, to addressing conflicts old and new around the world, and we look forward to engaging our allies and our partners to get it done. After all, we're stronger when we are working together," she had said in her brief remarks.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, March 01 2021. 02:45 IST