Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the G7 countries to support a proposal by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive the patent on coronavirus vaccines.
Modi was speaking virtually at a session, titled “Building Back Stronger - Health”, at the G7 summit. The Group of 7 summit, which brings together the heads of France, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, is being held at Carbis Bay in Cornwall. India has been invited as one of the guest countries.
For months now, the World Trade Organization has been facing calls to temporarily remove the intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines, known as a TRIPS waiver in reference to the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property. India and South Africa have been leading the fight within the trade body to allow more drugmakers to manufacture the vaccines.
On Friday, while speaking at the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron had backed lifting restrictions on the export of vaccine raw materials and the proposal to waive off patent rights on vaccines. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, also a special invitee to the session, too supported the proposal for patent waivers, according to The Indian Express.
A release from the prime minister’s office said that Modi thanked the G7 and other guest countries at the summit for their support extended towards India during coronavirus. He also conveyed India’s willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries in dealing with pandemic.
Modi said that the meeting should send out a message of “One Earth One Health” for the whole world, the release stated.
Modi was invited to the summit by United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson but called off his visit because of the second wave of infections in India. He will participate in two more outreach sessions on Sunday.