Two million coronavirus vaccines for UN peacekeepers sent by India arrived in Copenhagen, the Danish capital, on Sunday morning. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted: “Ensuring safe peacekeeping. Made in India vaccinated land for @UNPsykeeping personnel in Denmark. #VaccineMaitri.”
India on Friday sent 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as a gift to UN peacekeepers. These are sufficient to compulsorily vaccinate approximately 95,000 UN Peacekeeping personnel.
Jaishankar announced the decision to provide vaccines as a gift to UN peacekeepers at the UN Security Council in February this year. Jaishankar had said: “Keeping in mind the UN peacekeepers who are working under such difficult conditions, we would like to announce 200,000 doses for them today.” He also quoted the Bhagavad Gita as saying: “Do your work with welfare. Always keep others in mind. “
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has thanked India for providing the vaccines.
Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix welcomed India’s support for peace operations. Lacroix said: “An effective roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine for all peacekeepers is an important priority for the United Nations to have the ability to continue our personnel and their vital work, protect vulnerable communities and their mandates To help deliver it. ” “
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Deslene, “heartily” thanked India for its “generous gestures of solidarity and support”. He said: “This step reflects India’s strong commitment to global peace and multilateralism, particularly to the United Nations.”
Under Secretary General Atul Khare also expressed his gratitude for the operational assistance. Khare is spearheading the United Nations initiative to support national efforts in the vaccination of UN civilian personnel and family members.
UN peacekeepers, also known as blue helmets, are currently stationed at 12 locations worldwide. Apart from maintaining peace among the warring parties, they also carry out activities related to peace-raising and conflict prevention.
India is one of the largest contributors of troops and police to UN peacekeeping operations. It has currently deployed more than 5,000 men and women in nine missions, including The Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Lebanon.
India has emerged as the top responder for providing coronovirus vaccines worldwide. It began with both gifts and commercial supplies to its neighbors in South Asia and then expanded operations to countries such as Latin America and Africa.
Many Indian companies are in the process of developing vaccines in collaboration with renowned research institutes as well as pharmaceutical companies of the west. These include entities and pharma companies in the USA, UK, Europe and Russia.