General Assembly General Assembly

United Nations General Assembly

Informal Meeting on 

Political Declaration on Equitable Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines:




Ambassador K. Nagaraj Naidu

Deputy Permanent Representative


26 March 2021


Thank you Mr. President,

We thank you for convening today’s meeting on the Political Declaration on Equitable Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines.


India is happy to be one of the initiators of the declaration which today has the support of more than 180 member states.


It’s been over a year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which upended our lives. While the pandemic continues to persist, 2021 began on a positive note with the global  scientific community coming up with multiple vaccines to contain the pandemic.


While the vaccine challenge has been resolved, we are now confronted with ensuring the availability, accessibility, affordability, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Lack of global cooperation and disparity in the accessibility of vaccines will affect the poorest nations the most. 


Mr. President,


As highlighted by the declaration equity in access to the vaccine is important for mitigating the impact of the pandemic. Vaccine inequity will defeat our collective resolve to contain the virus. The current disparity calls for solidarity and cooperation within the international frameworks such as COVAX. It is also important to ensure that ongoing global immunization programs pertaining to polio, diphtheria and other diseases do not get impacted as that will lead to resurgence of other deadly diseases.


We need to collaborate on genomic surveillance to track virus mutations and variants and exchange information in a timely fashion. Vaccine hesitancy should also be countered with science and public health infrastructure and capacities of health workers in vaccine delivery needs to be strengthened globally.


Mr. President,


India has been at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19. Two of India’s vaccines, including one indigenously developed, have already been granted emergency authorization. 30 More vaccine candidates are at various phases of clinical trials.


India will not only be vaccinating 300 million of its own frontline workers over the next six months but in the process has also supplied vaccines to over 70 nations. In fact, as of today we have supplied more vaccines globally than have vaccinated our own people.


We are also a significant source of supply to Gavi’s COVAX facility and have already contributed 20 Million doses to the COVAX facility last month. We have also fulfilled our commitment of handing over 200,000 doses for UN Peacekeepers as a gift. These vaccines are going to land in Denmark tomorrow morning.  We are working actively with GAVI, WHO and ACT Accelerator. India and South-Africa have also called for WTO to suspend intellectual property rights related to COVID-19 for a limited period of time, to ensure rapid scaling-up of manufacturing of vaccines and ensuring accessibility and affordability of vaccines for all.


Mr. President,


We need to collectively work towards supporting initiatives that ensure speedy, and equitable distribution of vaccines and therapeutics to the most-disadvantaged populations. Affordability, access, and logistical issues should in no way become a hindrance in our fight against one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.


I thank you.