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PM Modi seeks G7 support for patent waiver on Covid vaccines

PM Modi seeks the support of the G7 countries for a proposal moved at the WTO by India and South Africa, for patent waiver on Covid related technologies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for following a “one earth, one health” approach to effectively deal with the coronavirus pandemic globally, and sought the support of the G7 grouping to lift patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, during a virtual address at an outreach session of a summit of the bloc.

Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Modi also emphasised on the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies to deal with the challenge, according to an official statement.

Sources said Modi’s call for adopting a “one earth, one health” approach received support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They said Australia and several other countries came out in strong support of Modi’s call to waive patents on coronavirus vaccines to boost their production. India and South Africa have come out with the proposal at the World Trade Organisation.

The prime minister, speaking at the G7 outreach session titled ‘Building Back Stronger – Health’, also highlighted India’s ‘whole of society’ approach to fight the pandemic, while synergising the efforts of all levels of the government, industry and civil society.

In his address, Modi sought the support of the G7 countries for a proposal moved at the WTO by India and South Africa, for patent waiver on Covid related technologies.

“The 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 by India and South Africa for a TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver on Covid related technologies,” the statement said.

“Prime Minister Modi said that today’s meeting should send out a message of ‘one earth, one health’ for the whole world,” it said.

The Group of Seven (G7) comprises the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. As chair of G7, the UK invited India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa to the summit as guest countries. The leaders of the world’s advanced economies are holding a summit in Cornwall in the UK from June 11-13. It is for the first time the leaders of the grouping are meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“Participated in the @G7 summit session on health. Thanked partners for the support during the recent COVID-19 wave. India supports global action to prevent future pandemics. ‘One earth, one health’ is our message to humanity,” Modi tweeted.

During the session, Modi expressed appreciation for the support extended by the G7 and other guest countries during the recent wave of Covid infections in India.

“He also explained India’s successful use of open-source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management, and conveyed India’s willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries,” the statement said.

The prime minister will participate in the final day of the G7 Summit on Sunday and will speak in two sessions.

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