Pandemic has exposed inadequacies in the current global system; a multilateral and collaborative approach needed to address these gaps – Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi : The Vice President,  M. Venkaiah Naidu, today addressed the Retreat Session of the two-day ASEM Summit which began on November 25th in virtual format, themed on “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”. The Vice President had made interventions in the Plenary Session of the Summit yesterday.

At the Retreat Session, Shri Naidu said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the many inadequacies in the current global system, particularly the health system & the supply chains and called for a multilateral and collaborative approach to address these gaps. Talking about India’s contribution in the fight against COVID-19, he said that by controlling the transmission of infection in one-sixth of the world’s population, India has contributed to making the world safer. Referring to the milestone of more than a billion vaccinations, Shri Naidu said that India is also in the process of restarting the global export of vaccines to countries in need.

Stressing the importance of Maritime Security in an increasingly globalized world, the Vice President said that oceans are the pathways to prosperity and it is important that their access remain free and unencumbered, both from traditional and non-traditional threats. In this regard, he mentioned the five principles that define India’s approach including free, open and secure maritime trade, peaceful settlement of maritime disputes based on international law, collective address of natural disasters and maritime threats, preservation of maritime environment and maritime resources and encouraging responsible maritime connectivity based on sustainability and absorption capacity of countries.

Describing climate action as another area of common interest, the Vice President reiterated that the road to fighting climate change is through climate justice which requires countries to take a bigger and long-term picture.

Shri Naidu said that in the post-pandemic era, a different world awaits us. “It is one that puts a greater premium on trust and transparency, resilience and reliability, as also on choices and redundancy,” he said and observed that the ASEM process, bringing together countries of Asia and Europe, has a critical role to play in this regard. On this occasion, he also reaffirmed India’s commitment to share its experience and resources with the world in the spirit of solidarity to ensure security and growth for all in the region.