New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday called on all member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to come together to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, even as he slammed Pakistan for “spreading terrorism”.
Without naming Pakistan, Modi said some countries are spreading “other deadly viruses” such as terrorism, fake news and doctored videos.
“Even as the world fights Covid-19, some people are busy spreading other deadly viruses, such as terrorism, such as fake news, and doctored videos to divide communities and countries,” he said at a virtual NAM summit.
WHO must boost healthcare capacity
Modi said multilateral institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) should focus on building healthcare capacity in developing countries, and that global institutions should adapt to the needs of today’s world, which is being more “inclusive”.
“Covid-19 has shown us the limitations of the existing international system. We need a new template of globalisation based on fairness, equality and humanity in a post-Covid world,” the Prime Minister said. “We need to focus on human welfare and not just on economic growth.”
“We should build technology for all. We should develop a platform for all NAM countries for crisis management protocols and disaster management, in the founding spirit of movement to come together and not grow apart. Each of us can be saved from the pandemic only if we are together,” he said.
‘Pharmacy of the world’
Modi also said in an effort to help and cooperate with other countries in their fight against the deadly novel coronavirus, India has sent critical drugs and medical devices to 123 countries, including 59 members of NAM, showing India is ‘pharmacy of the world’ for essential medicines.
“India sees the whole world as one family. As we care for our own citizens, we are extending help to other countries,” he said.
The PM also took another veiled shot at Pakistan, adding that while some countries “organise military drills”, India organises disaster management drills in the south Asian region and beyond.
Stressing on the need for transparency in fighting such pandemics, Modi said: “During this crisis, we have shown how democracy and discipline can come together to create a genuine people’s movement.”
India and NAM
The online NAM Contact Group Summit, on the theme ‘United against Covid-19’, was hosted by the current chairman of the grouping, Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
PM Modi was joined by over 30 other heads of state, heads of government, and other leaders.
The summit was also addressed by the President of the UN General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammed Bande, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, African Union chairperson Musa Faki Mahamat, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, as well as Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.
PM Modi had not attended the previous two NAM summits in 2016 and 2019, giving rise to speculation that India was moving away from the Cold War-era grouping.