Modi leads call for TRIPS waiver, stress on International Solar Alliance in G7

June 14, 2021
File photo of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
File photo of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

NEW DELHI — India Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the call for a TRIPS waiver for India and South Africa, a move that was supported by Australia, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday.

India has worked with South Africa and other partners at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek a relaxation in the norms of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MEA said the PM spoke at three sessions at the G7 — Health, Climate Change, and Open Societies.

The Group of Seven (G7), comprising the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States (US), backed new conservation and emission targets to curb climate change, and finalized collective action on several other fronts.

Modi on Sunday spoke in two sessions on climate change and open societies. On climate change, the premier called for collective action, recognizing that this challenge can’t be addressed in silos. He shared that India is the only G20 country on track to meet its Paris commitments, the MEA said. The PM also highlighted importance of the International Solar Alliance.

“Also participated in the @G7 session on Climate and reiterated India’s strong commitment to climate action. India is the only G20 country on track to meet its Paris Commitments. And Indian Railways is committed to “Net Zero" by 2030," he said on Twitter.

During the PM’s address at the session on ‘open societies and open economies’ at the G7 summit, he highlighted India’s civilizational commitment to democracy, freedom of thought and liberty.

“Was happy to address the @G7 Session on Open Societies as a Lead Speaker. Democracy and freedom are part of India’s civilizational ethos, and find expression in the vibrancy and diversity of India’s society," Modi said in a tweet, later.

Modi also highlighted the revolutionary impact of digital technologies on social inclusion and empowerment in India through application such as Aadhaar, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar- Mobile) trinity.

In his remarks, the prime minister underscored the vulnerabilities inherent in open societies and called on tech companies and social media platforms to ensure a safe cyber environment for their users, additional secretary (economic relations) in the MEA P. Harish said at a press conference. “The prime minister’s views were appreciated by other leaders in the gathering," he said.

Harish said the G7 leaders underlined their commitment to a free, open and a rules-based Indo-Pacific and resolved to collaborate with partners in the region.

India’s participation at the G7 sessions reflected understanding within the bloc that resolution to “the biggest global crisis of our time" is not possible without India’s involvement and support, he said, in a reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said India would remain deeply engaged with the G7 and guest partners on all major issues, including health governance, access to vaccines and climate action.

Calling on the G7 to demonstrate leadership, PM Modi sought their strong support for India and South Africa’s proposal for a TRIPS waiver at WTO. His call was strongly echoed by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the MEA said.

The group of leading economies, holding their first in-person gathering in nearly two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, agreed to protect at least 30 percent of both land and ocean globally by the end of the decade. — Agencies

June 14, 2021
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