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Full text of Foreign Secretary's remarks at Remdesivir Handing Over Ceremony

Posted on: November 27, 2020 | Back | Print

Namaskar and Good Afternoon,

H.E. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Foreign Minister,

Distinguished Guests,

I am very happy to be in Kathmandu on my first visit as Foreign Secretary. I have just had very productive with Foreign Minister.

The Covid 19 has been a very major disruption in the international system. We have not seen a crisis like this since the Second World War. Both our countries has not been an exception to the adverse impact of covid-19. We have lost lives, you have also lost livelihoods. Covid-19, if there is one thing, it has brought to our attention is the need for greater corporation at the financial level, regional level and international level.  

Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took the initiative to bring together the leaders of south together, soon after the crisis started in order to workout for regional cooperation. A small Emergency response team was created. We are very grateful for Nepal’s generous contribution of $1 Billion to this fund. That fund and that meeting also insured very extensive networking and cooperation of health expenses and how to deal with the crisis. We have also seen the number of initiatives by which we assisted each other in the form of Health equipment's and test kits.

Today Remdisivir vaccine, that I was able to symbolically handover to the H.E. Foreign Minister, is very important therapeutic in the treatment of those who are suffering from the covid-19 virus.  

At the international level Prime Minister Modi took the initiative to convene for the first time at G20 extraordinary Summit, to go into an issue that G20 have never done before, how to deal with humanitarian crisis. The Prime Minister addressed G20 at that time and stressed the need for the human centric organization. In other words, Organization like G20 needs to look at the need of humanity. 

India is today largest producer of the vaccine in the world. We have tied up with the many of the vaccine manufacturer. The prime minister has made it clear that we will ensure that vaccine is not just for the people of India but for all the humanity. Will make this Vaccine accessible and affordable. And it goes without saying that, the first priority would be for our closest neighbours and our friends like Nepal. 

I had the opportunity to discuss this with the Honorable Foreign Minister H.E. Foreign Secretary. We will put our health ministry and our regulator in touch with each other to ensure that when  this vaccine enters the market,  when this vaccine is available, Nepal will also have the fullest benefits of this vaccine. 

I want to convey, my very grateful thanks to the government of Nepal for hosting me and my delegation. I did intend to come soon after taking as Foreign Secretary but covid-19 intervened. Our bilateral relations are age old and historic; we have something which very few countries have. We have Civilization, that have come not from centuries but from millenium.

Even during the worst period of Covid pandemic, the very, very strict imposed lockdown, we insured that trade, essential supplies and commodities continue to follow between our two countries. 

And today we are looking for the possibilities for taking our relationships further and greater heights. I would like to thank you H.E. Foreign Minister for his time, his courtesy and his very, very strong contribution for the relationship and we certainly look forward for working closely with our colleague in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Government of Nepal for taking the relationship to greater heights. Thank you very much. 

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