PM Modi subtly criticises role of WHO over Covid-19 origin

This is the first time India has spoken up against the WHO at the highest level
Last Updated : 25 September 2021, 18:19 IST

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday subtly criticised the World Health Organization and the World Bank for hurting their credibility over tracing the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Ease-of-Doing-Business rankings.

He urged the vaccine producers around the world to make the Covid-19 jabs in India.

“With regard to the origin of Covid-19 and the ease of doing business rankings, institutions of global governance have damaged the credibility they had built after decades of hard work,” the Prime Minister said, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly at the headquarters of the international organization in New York.

Though the erstwhile US President Donald Trump repeatedly criticised the WHO for working as a “puppet” of Beijing and covering up the beginning of the pandemic at Wuhan in central China in 2019, New Delhi never criticised the global health agency on the issue. This is the first time India has spoken up against the WHO at the highest level, albeit without directly referring to the organisation, which is based in Geneva.

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings also recently came under a shadow after a probe into data irregularities found that it buckled under pressure to boost the ranking of China.

The Prime Minister on Saturday said that if the United Nations would have to improve its effectiveness and enhance its reliability in order to remain relevant. He also noted that the UN had come under questions these days.

“We have seen such questions being raised, related to the climate crisis and during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Despite limited resources, India, which believes in the philosophy of "Seva Param Dharam" (service is the highest religion), is completely invested in the development and manufacture of the vaccines,” said Modi.

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Published 25 September 2021, 18:19 IST

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