Speeches/Statements Speech by Ambassador Suchitra Durai on 21 April, 2022 during the handover of Made in India vaccines under the Quad Vaccine Partnership

Speech by Ambassador Suchitra Durai on 21 April, 2022 during the handover of Made in India vaccines under the Quad Vaccine Partnership

Hand over of 200,000 doses of Covovax Covid 19 vaccine by QUAD HoMs to H.E Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy PM & Min of Public Health of Kingdom of Thailand under Quad Vaccine Partnership on 21 April, 2022

Remarks by Suchitra Durai, Ambassador of India to Thailand

H.E Mr Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Health of the Kingdom of Thailand;

H.E Ambassador Allan McKinnon of Australia;

H.E Ambassador Nashida Kazuya of Japan;

H.E Mr James Wayman, the Charge d’ Affairs of the United States of America;

Senior officials of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Health;

Friends from the media;

Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen.

Sawasdee ka! Sawasdee Peemai ka.

Today, we mark an important milestone under the Quad Vaccine Initiative. I am honoured and privileged that, along with my colleagues from other QUAD countries, we are handing over a consignment of 200,000 doses of Made in India, Covovax vaccines to H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Health of Thailand. These vaccines have been delivered as part of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s commitment to donate 500,000 doses of COVID vaccines to countries in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad Vaccine Partnership.

As a short background to those who may not be aware, the Quad Vaccine Partnership was announced by the Quad Leaders at their first Summit on 12 March 2021 to leverage the Quad’s collective strength to ensure global availability of safe and effective vaccines by expanding manufacturing and assisting countries in the Indo-Pacific with vaccination. The Quad countries agreed at that time to provide one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region under this initiative.

Pursuant to Prime Minister Modi’s commitment at the subsequent Quad Summit in Washington in September 2021, India volunteered to donate the first 500,000 doses under the Quad vaccine initiative to countries of the Indo-Pacific. On 12 April, the inaugural consignment of 325,000 doses under the Quad vaccine initiative was delivered to Cambodia.

I understand that Quad countries have so far provided Thailand four and a half million COVID-19 vaccine doses bilaterally and through the COVAX facility. Quad countries have also provided last mile delivery assistance and monetary support to ensure that vaccines are translated into vaccinations. Australia, Japan and US have undertaken several initiatives in this regard. On India’s part, we have extended support to Thailand in augmenting its capacity to fight the Covid-19 pandemic by providing oxygen concentrators and essential medicines.

Today’s delivery of vaccines to Thailand reflects the long-standing friendship that India enjoys bilaterally with Thailand, our maritime neighbour. It is a friendship which, in its contemporary avatar is multi-faceted. It is underpinned by our age-old linguistic, cultural and religious ties. Importantly, today’s vaccine delivery reflects the sense of solidarity and partnership that all Quad countries share with each other and with Thailand individually. It is indicative of the recognition by our leaders of the enormous threat posed to lives and livelihoods by the Covid 19 pandemic and the need for collaborative and collective action. It is a demonstration of India’s commitment to provide safe and effective Covid 19 vaccines under the Quad initiative. India looks forward to strengthening of cooperation in the medical and health sector including on vaccines with Thailand and with other countries in the region. On a bilateral note, may I add that I am particularly happy that this gesture of our solidarity is happening as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between India and Thailand.

I thank the Ambassadors of Australia, Japan and the Charge of US Mission as well as their colleagues at the working level for their strong support. Above all, I would like to convey our warmest appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand whose officials have worked tirelessly with my colleagues, to the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand for their superb cooperation, the Customs and Airport Authorities for their expeditious clearance and to H.E DPM Anutin personally for his prompt and proactive support without which this delivery could not have happened so smoothly and speedily.

Thank you, Kob Khun Na Ka.