UN chief Antonio Guterres has appreciated India's assistance to other countries to combat the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual conversation with Ambassador T S Tirumurti, India's envoy to the world body, the Secretary General's spokesman has said.
Tirumurti, who assumed charge as India's Permanent Representative to the UN last week, presented his credentials virtually as telecommuting arrangements are in place at the UN headquarters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Great pleasure to 'call on' HE UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (through) video conference. He recalled warmly his visits to India, underlined the importance of India for the UN & appreciated India’s assistance to other countries during COVID,” Tirumurti tweeted on Thursday.
India has sent essential drugs, testing kits and other medical assistance to many countries around the world, including to the US, to help fight the coronavirus that has infected over 5.8 million globally. The death toll from the pandemic has surpassed 358,373.
A spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, had said that the UN chief looked forward to working very closely with Tirumurti in the years ahead.
“We obviously very much welcome India's new Permanent Representative to the United Nations. And I know the Secretary-General looks forward to working very closely with the new envoy in the years ahead,” Dujarric had said at the daily press briefing last week.
Tirumurti assumed charge just weeks before the General Assembly is set to hold elections on June 17 for the five non-permanent seats of the UN Security Council for the 2021-22 term.
India’s seat as a non-permanent member on the 15-nation Council for the two-year term is assured as it is the sole candidate vying for the lone seat from the Asia Pacific grouping.
New Delhi’s candidature was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, including China and Pakistan, in June last year.