- Arts & Entertainment
- All Stories
New Delhi, May 4, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a thinly-veiled attack against Pakistan for indulging in terrorism and fake news even as the world battled the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has claimed more than 235,000 lives around the world so far.
"Even as the world fights COVID-19, some people are busy spreading other deadly viruses. Such as terrorism," he said, without naming Pakistan, in his intervention during the online summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group held this evening.
"Such as fake news, and doctored videos to divide communities and countries. But today, I want to focus only on the positives. On what we as a movement can do together to help the world fight this health crisis," he said.
The online summit of the NAM Contact Group, to discuss the ongoing pandemic had as its theme "United Against COVID-19)" and was hosted by Ilham Alieyv, President of Azerbaijan and the current Chairman of NAM.
Pakistan was represented at the summit by President Arif Alvi.
Modi began by paying condolences to all those who had lost their lives in the pandemic.
"Today, humanity faces its most serious crisis in many decades. At this time, the Non Aligned Movement can help promote global solidarity. NAM has often been the world’s moral voice. To retain this role, NAM must remain inclusive," he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India accounted for one-sixth of humanity and was a developing country and a free society. "During this crisis, we have shown how democracy, discipline and decisiveness can come together to create a genuine people’s movement," he said.
"India’s civilization sees the whole world as one family. As we care for our own citizens, we are also extending help to other countries. To counter COVID-19, we have promoted coordination in our immediate neighbourhood. And, we are organising online training to share India’s medical expertise with many others. India is regarded as a pharmacy of the world, especially for affordable medicines.
Despite our own needs, we have ensured medical supplies to over 123 partner countries, including 59 members of NAM .
"We are active in global efforts to develop remedies and vaccines. India has the world’s oldest plant-based traditional medicine system. We have freely shared simple Ayurvedic home-remedies, to help people boost their natural immunity," he said.
Modi said COVID-19 had shown the world the limitations of the existing international system.
"In the post-COVID world, we need a new template of globalization, based on fairness, equality, and humanity. We need international institutions that are more representative of today’s world. We need to promote human welfare, and not focus on economic growth alone.
"India has long championed such initiatives. Such as the International Day of Yoga, to improve physical and mental well-being of all humanity. Such as the International Solar Alliance, to help our planet heal from the disease of climate change. Such as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, to protect ourselves against climate and disaster risks.
"Many countries organise military drills. But India has taken the initiative to organise disaster management drills in our region and beyond," he said.
Modi said NAM should call upon the international community and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to focus on building health-capacity in developing countries. "We should ensure equitable, affordable and timely access to health products and technologies for all," he said.
"We should develop a platform for all NAM countries, to pool our experiences, best practices, crisis-management protocols, research, and resources.
"In the founding spirit of our movement, let us aim today to come together, not grow apart. Each of us can be safe from the pandemic only if we all are. Let us work as partners towards an inclusive and cooperative global response," he added.
The objective of the summit was to promote international solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to mobilise efforts of States and international organisations to address the pandemic. The event also commemorated the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
An official press release said Modi’s participation underlined India’s longstanding commitment to the principles and values of NAM as one of its leading founding-members.
Modi was joined by over 30 other Heads of State and Government and other leaders, including from member States in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe. The summit was also addressed by the President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammed Bande, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, African Union Chairperson Musa Faki Mahamat, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, as well as WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus.
Overall, NAM Leaders assessed the impact of COVID-19, identified needs and requirements for possible remedies and urged action-oriented follow-up measures.
Following the summit, the leaders adopted a declaration underlining the importance of international solidarity in the fight against COVID-19.
The leaders also announced the creation of a ‘Task Force’ to identify needs and requirements of member States through the establishment of a common database reflecting their basic medical, social and humanitarian needs in the fight against COVID-19.