Indian Prime Minister Seeks Support From G7 Leaders On COVID-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver

NEW DELHI (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 13th June, 2021) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the G7 head of states to back a debatable patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines as a means to boost global production and fight the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister's office reported on Saturday.

According to the office, on Saturday Modi participated in a session of the ongoing G7 summit, titled "Building Back Stronger - Health" and dedicated to the post-pandemic recovery across the world. The prime minister took part in the meeting via video conference and is due to speak at two more sessions on Sunday, marking the final day of the summit.

"Prime Minister committed India's support for collective endeavours to improve global health governance. He sought the G7's support for the proposal moved at the WTO [World Trade Organization] by India and South Africa, for a TRIPS waiver on COVID related technologies," the office said in a statement.

In late 2020, India and South Africa launched the proposal for a temporary Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver, arguing that this would help increase vaccine production, particularly in lower-income countries. The proposal has received the support of World Health Organization (WHO) leaders, as well as some of the world's countries, including Russia and the United States.

However, some of the EU member states, as well as the United Kingdom, Australia, and others continue to oppose the initiative even after it has been revised and submitted to the WTO last month.

According to the statement, Modi also voiced appreciation to the G7 states and guest nations for the support in a form of medical equipment to India, which has been hit hard by a spring surge in coronavirus infections.

The prime minister also expressed India's readiness to share its experience of digital contact tracing and vaccine management with the developing countries.

UK, US, Canadian, French, German, Italian, and Japanese leaders have held meetings in the UK's Cornwall since Friday. Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa have participated in the summit as guest countries.