India seeks support for waiver of IP rights on Covid-19 medical products at UNSC

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 07, 2021

Waiver would help scale up manufacture, timely availability of affordable Covid-19 vaccines and medical products, said Foreign Secretary Shringla

India made a pitch for global support for a temporary waiver of Intellectual Property (IP) rights for Covid-19 related medical products and vaccines proposed at the WTO by South Africa and India, at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Friday.

India and South Africa’s proposal for temporary waiver of TRIPS obligations at the WTO will ensure developing countries have quick and affordable access to medicines and vaccines during the pandemic, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, speaking at the UNSC high level meeting on Friday.

“This waiver will be an important step for enabling rapid scaling up of manufacture and timely availability of affordable Covid vaccines and essential medical products on a global basis,” Shringla said.

Lack of a coordinated global response has exposed the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the multilateral system and the pandemic has exposed the fault lines from unreliable global supply chains to inequitable vaccine distribution, the Foreign Secretary said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened our awareness of the depth of global interdependence, and on the fact that the world is only as resilient as the least resilient country. The events of the past year have clearly demonstrated how imperative it is for all countries to coordinate responses to the various challenges that the pandemic has brought to the fore," he said.

The India-South Africa IP waiver proposal at the WTO has 60 co-sponsors and some members who were earlier opposing it, such as the US, the EU and New Zealand, are now ready to participate in negotiations.

Published on May 07, 2021

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