Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Covid-19 pandemic has presented the global community an opportunity to reshape the world order and create systems which address the problems of today and challenges of tomorrow.

“We must think of the entire humanity and not merely of those who are on our side of the borders. Humanity as a whole must be at the centre of our thinking and action,” he said, inaugurating the “Raisina Dialogue”, the annual signature event of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on geopolitics and geo-economics.

Acknowledging that the world today was under-prepared to handle Covid-19, Modi said, “We understand fully that the mankind will not defeat the pandemic unless all of us, everywhere, regardless of the colour of our passports, come out of it.”

Modi noted that for over a year now, the best minds of every society have been engaged in battling the pandemic. All the governments of the world at all levels were trying to contain and control it.

“Why did it come to this? Is it perhaps because in the race of economic development the concern for welfare of humanity has been left behind?” he wondered. India, he noted, has tried to “walk the talk” in its own humble way in the larger interest of humanity during the pandemic.

“We have tried to protect our own 1.3 billion citizens from the pandemic. At the same time, we have also tried to support the pandemic response efforts of others,” he added.

Modi said, “In our neighbourhood, we have encouraged our coordinated regional response to the crisis. Last year, we shared medicines and protective equipment with over 150 countries. This year, despite many constraints, we have supplied vaccines to over 80 countries. We know that the supplies have been modest. We know that the demands are huge. We know that it will be a long time before the entire humanity can be vaccinated. At the same time, we also know that hope matters. It matters as much to the citizens of the richest countries as it does to the less fortunate.”

He said India would continue to share its experiences, its expertise and also its resources with the entire humanity in the fight against the pandemic. He called upon the participants at the “Raisina Dialogue” to emerge as a powerful voice for a human centric approach to grapple with the pandemic.