Wed, 14 Apr 2021

New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): As the world grapples to counter the pandemic, pressure on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is mounting to seriously consider a proposal by India and South Africa for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

India, which is often described as 'World Pharmacy' is supplying vaccines to more than 70 countries on a humanitarian and commercial basis, is spearheading the move to get a TRIPS waiver at the WTO.

If India succeeds in getting the proposed waiver of the agreement on TRIPS, it will reduce the cost of vaccines substantially and enable free flow of medicines, easy technology transfer across the world.

However, the road to getting the proposal cleared and develop consensus is not easy as many western countries are opposing the move, official source dealing told the reporter that if this gets through it will be a 'game changer'.

India, South Africa's proposal got further boosted when a group of least developed countries (LDC) lent its support to the proposal recently.

According to media reports, "In a declaration to the European Commission and European Council, a cross-party group of 115 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have urged the European Commission and the European Council to drop their opposition on the TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO."Such a waiver would enable greater access to affordable COVID-19 health technologies, including vaccines, in particular for developing and middle-income countries.

In the declaration, MEPs stressed that "the EU's open opposition to the TRIPS waiver risks exacerbating a dangerous North-South divide."According to media reports " The call for a TRIPS waiver from MEPs, representing all 27 Member States, comes the day before a meeting of the European Council scheduled on February 25, 2021, and the crucial decision to be made by all Member States at the WTO General Council on March 1-2, 2021.""A group of lawmakers from the Democratic Party wants US President Joe Biden to support the TRIPS waiver proposal that seeks to temporarily suspend several provisions in the WTO's TRIPS Agreement in combating the COVID-19 pandemic," said a source familiar with the development.

Around 90 countries have broadly supported the TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO.

Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that many more vaccines from India will assist the world in this hour of the COVID crisis. (ANI)

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