NEW YORK: A special event to commemorate India’s 75 glorious years of Independence was held on the sidelines of 77th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 24.
The event, held under the theme ‘India@75 Showcasing India-UN Partnership’, was attended by UNGA President Csaba Korosi, Deputy Secretary General of the UN Amina J Mohammed and Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Antigua and Barbuda, Cyprus, Gambia, Guyana, Jamaica, Maldives, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, and Yemen. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister of France gave special messages on the occasion.
Speaking at the event, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar highlighted India’s steady march from being one of the poorest nations of the world to the fifth biggest economy during the 75 years of Independence. Underlining the role of technology in India’s development, EAM mentioned that the Digital Public Infrastructure advanced the food-safety net to 800 million Indians. Banking on technological might, more than US$300 billion worth of benefits have been distributed and over 2 billion vaccinations administered.
He stressed that India’s own development is inseparable from that of the rest of the world and referred to the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, the first-ever single country South-South initiative at the UN, which currently extends 66 development projects in 51 countries. India responded first with vaccines to friends in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and India’s neighborhood during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Some of the participants testified that they were direct beneficiaries of ‘Vaccine Maitri’ – India’s global initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccines.
On India’s association with the UN, EAM said that as a founding member of the UN, India’s partnership with the UN also reached the milestone of 75 years. The multifaceted nature of this partnership is significantly reflected in peacekeeping wherein India has contributed more than a quarter million personnel to this effort making her the largest contributor. On global climate action, EAM underscored that the International Solar Alliance which currently has over 100 members was pioneered by India along with France in 2015. India was also a founding member of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. Describing development as a public good, EAM emphasized that India was committed to strengthen its partnerships with the UN to ensure a brighter future for the planet.