NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a five-day visit to the US, on Tuesday met UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and underlined the importance of urgent and effective global vaccine solutions for the coronavirus pandemic.
“A warm & comprehensive meeting with UN Secretary General @antonioguterres. Discussed the Covid challenge, underlining the importance of finding urgent & effective global vaccine solutions. Critical to ramp up the vaccine supply chain to ensure greater production & fairer distribution,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting,
They also held discussions on India’s challenges in its neighbourhood and agreed on adequately protecting the gains of the last two decades in Afghanistan. “Countering terrorism and radicalisation remain priorities for the region. Also, discussed recent developments in Myanmar. India values UNSG’s leadership of the UN, especially in these challenging times. Conveyed our support for his candidature for a second term,” the minister tweeted.
Climate change was discussed and Jaishankar said greater resources are essential for larger ambitions, while financing will determine seriousness and credibility. “Highlighted India’s constructive role in UNSC and conveyed priorities of our Presidency in August. Maritime Security and Technology for Peacekeeping address the needs of the day. Welcomed SG’s appreciation of India’s Peacekeeping operations including at Goma, DRC recently,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Earlier in the day, the minister held discussions with India’s permanent representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti, and his deputy K Nagaraj Naidu, where he expressed confidence that India will continue to shape the ‘big debates of our times’. “A productive strategy session with @ambtstirumurti and our UN team in New York @IndiaUNNewYork. Confident that India will continue to shape the big debates of our times,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
After his meeting with Guterres, Jaishankar will travel to Washington DC to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The meeting is likely on May 28, as Blinken is on a trip to West Asia and will return on May 27. A State Department spokesperson said both leaders would discuss a wide range of issues, including Covid-19, efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad grouping, enhancing the UN and multilateral cooperation.