Elisha Pulivarty/ Washington DC
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25, Sunday reflected the new found confidence of India on the global stage. His hectic meetings with close to 50 world leaders and clear message to the international community is a sign of India’s growing clout at the UN.
Jaishankar reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direct message to Russian President Vladimir Putin two weeks ago at Samarkand, Uzbekistan that – ” This is not an era of wars” – at the UN. What Modi meant was that this is not the time for countries to wage wars against each other, but the age of cooperation and collaboration. The two and a half years of Covid pandemic has taught us the importance of global cooperation and collaboration.
Cooperation among the nations, transporting people from one country to another, while collaboration is for scientific and medical research and administration of vaccines, medicines and other equipment supplies. In fact, India has demonstrated this to the world. Microsoft honcho Bill Gates in a recent article to a leading Indian daily pointed out that 2 out of 5 vaccines used world over are made in India.
This is a great achievement. Not just made, but India also supplied 25 crore doses of vaccines as donation to 120 countries, while making available another 200 crore doses for Indians. This has helped India restore its place among the developed countries. Now that India is the president of G- 20 countries as well as SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), we have many responsibilities, both within and outside the country.
Jaishankar did a splendid job, by telling the world that India follows an independent foreign policy – though we may be in league with the US on many groupings or fora. At the same time, India maintains its own relations with Russia and Iran. But, the US and the UK have understood the imperative of this historic situation and have endorsed India’s line. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has agreed to step up defence cooperation between the two countries.
India is in touch with close to 100 countries, apart from the UN. The US, UK, Australia, Japan, France, Germany and Brazil are in tune with Jaishankar’s view point on a range of issues. This is good for businesses of the US and India. SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) will immensely benefit out of the evolving trade and economic cooperation between India and the US. This will indirectly create millions of jobs and billions of dollars of wealth.