TRIPS waiver will facilitate wider access to technologies needed for COVID-19 vaccines production: South Africa

·1-min read
BRICS foreign ministers
BRICS foreign ministers

New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI): The proposal by South Africa and India for a temporary global waiver on patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines will facilitate wider access to technologies needed to produce vaccines, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on Tuesday.

Speaking at the BRICS foreign ministers meeting, Pandor raised the issue of the global gap in access to COVID-19 vaccines, saying millions of people in wealthy nations have been vaccinated, while billions in poor countries are still vulnerable to infectious disease and death.

The meeting was chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar through video conferencing.

Besides Pandor, the meeting was attended by Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Alberto Franco Franca, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"South Africa and India have submitted a proposal to the WTO for a temporary waiver of certain aspects of TRIPS to facilitate wider access to technologies needed to produce vaccines and treatments so that poorer countries with capacity could produce," she said.

"The agreement will allow the use of intellectual property, the sharing of technologies, the production of vaccines therapeutics and wider distribution so that we achieve the ambition that none of us are safe until all of us are safe," she asserted, adding "We must address the global gap in vaccines access".

In October last year, India and South Africa, along with 57 members of WTO proposed a waiver from certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19.

The WTO Agreement on TRIPS is a comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property. (ANI)

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