World leaders celebrate India’s commitment and compassion in unprecedented times…reports Asian Lite News
Against the backdrop of the 78th UN General Assembly session, leaders from the Global South congregated in New York on September 24, 2023 to articulate their gratitude and deep respect for India. They applauded its resilient support during the tumultuous times of the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasized its crucial role in ensuring the Global South’s voice echoed strongly on the international stage, particularly during the consequential G20 presidency.
India’s Supportive Stance
India, historically recognized as a land of diverse cultures and ancient wisdom, emerged during the pandemic as a global harbinger of unity and compassion. Its leadership not only provided immediate relief but also strategically paved the way for long-term collaborations.
The ‘India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development’ event, hosted by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, painted a canvas of global camaraderie. The leaders, representing a vast array of nations, were unanimous in their commendations for India’s strategic foresight. They highlighted the remarkable inclusion of Global South concerns at the crucial G20 Leaders’ Summit in Delhi, a diplomatic extravaganza that culminated in the unanimous adoption of a defining joint declaration.
Bhutan’s Voice of Gratitude
Tandi Dorji, Bhutan’s eloquent Minister of Foreign Affairs, served as a voice for many in the room. With a firm grasp on global dynamics, he accentuated India’s “pivotal role in amplifying the concerns of the Global South.” Dorji, during his speech, recalled a historical instance when Bhutan faced challenges, and India, adhering to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, had come forward in support. He remarked, “In a rapidly changing world landscape, India’s leadership during the G20 Summit not only reflected its global significance but also stood as a testament to its unwavering commitment to international cooperation.”
He further praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s astute diplomatic acumen in successfully advocating for the African Union’s induction into the G20. Reflecting on the broader impact of such a decision, he added, “The inclusion not only diversified the G20’s composition but enriched its deliberations, allowing for a more comprehensive global outlook.”
Vince Henderson, Dominica’s dynamic Foreign Affairs Minister, added depth to the dialogue with his candid revelations. Drawing from personal experiences, he emphasized the game-changing significance of India’s vaccine outreach.
Recounting a poignant moment from his past, Henderson shared, “I was sitting in a global capital, its name I won’t disclose, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. The dire need for vaccines was palpable, and solutions seemed distant. Just when despair was setting in, India, like a ray of hope, came forward, supplying life-saving vaccines to Dominica and countless other states.” He pointedly distanced India’s genuine humanitarian effort from the so-called ‘vaccine diplomacy’ that some nations engaged in. His speech, filled with genuine emotion, drew spontaneous applause, capturing the room’s collective sentiment.
Voices From Across Oceans and Mountains
Leaders from diverse backgrounds, spanning the vast expanse from Mauritius to the Maldives, reiterated India’s unwavering dedication to sustainable and inclusive growth. The ambience was one of deep appreciation, with personal anecdotes and shared experiences amplifying the impact of India’s efforts.
Mauritius’ Maneesh Gobin, a seasoned diplomat, elaborated on the inclusive approach India championed during its G20 presidency. He said, “When diverging opinions seemed to be the norm, India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, emerged as the unifying force. It not only listened but actively incorporated the Global South’s concerns, ensuring a holistic dialogue.”
While there was much praise, there was also acknowledgment of challenges. Countries like the Maldives, grappling with their own sets of adversities, found a dependable ally in India. Ahmed Khaleel, Maldivian Foreign Minister, elucidated, “The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is being hailed globally as a benchmark for South-South cooperation.” He fondly recalled India’s consistent support, from development projects to combating climate change adversities, “India’s leadership in the Global South has always been pronounced, but during these trying times, its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy genuinely made a tangible difference.”
Vaccine Maitri Initiative: A Global Beacon of Hope
The Vaccine Maitri initiative emerged as a focal point of discussions. Recognized as one of India’s landmark humanitarian endeavors, it has facilitated the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 100 nations. Bhutan’s Dorji, reflecting on the larger implications, remarked, “Beyond the immediate health benefits, Vaccine Maitri underscored the possibility of international collaboration in the face of adversity. The India-Bhutan partnership serves as a sterling example of robust bilateral relations in the Global South.”
Several leaders, including Maldivian Foreign Minister Khaleel, Mauritian Foreign Minister Maneesh Gobin, and Saint Lucia Foreign Minister Alva Romanus Baptiste, expanded on India’s multi-faceted involvement in the Global South. They elaborated on the myriad ways – from infrastructural projects to sustainable development initiatives – in which India has been instrumental.
A Resounding Endorsement
As the event reached its conclusion, the overarching sentiment looked promising. India, with its commitment and vision, had solidified its role as not just a regional leader, but a global one. Its actions during the pandemic, both in terms of immediate relief and long-term strategies, have set a benchmark for international cooperation.
In the words of Mauritius’ Gobin, which aptly summed up the entire discourse, “India stands as a testament to the power of unity, cooperation, and vision. In bringing the Global South to the decision-making table, it has not only amplified voices but has also sown the seeds for a more inclusive future.” (India News Network)