Updated: June 30, 2021 2:30:38 am
Stressing that “institutional multilateralism has been found wanting”, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday flagged the issue of “vaccine equity” at the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Matera, Italy.
Addressing the meeting, Jaishankar said that international cooperation was key to solving the Covid-19 crisis and the challenges it has posed. This was especially important when it came to impartial access to vaccines.
“Whether it is vaccines, medicines, PPE or oxygen, international cooperation is the answer to the COVID challenge. Need more, not less,” Jaishankar said.
The minister’s remarks came in the wake of the European Union’s (EU) opposition to India’s and South Africa’s proposal to increase large-scale manufacturing of vaccines by waiving some parts of the intellectual property rules under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). These rules prevent international firms with the capacity to produce approved vaccinations from doing so owing to issues with licencing.
“Institutional multilateralism has been found wanting” Jaishankar said. “Reforms have many forms but vaccine equity will be the immediate test. The real economy needs decentralised globalisation, including in manufacturing, food and health. Resilient supply chains must develop in parallel.”
He also that the full diversity of our planet needed more accurate reflection in global policy making.
Jaishankar arrived in Italy from Greece on the second leg of this two-nation tour to attend the G-20 ministerial meetings.
The G-20 summit is scheduled to be held in Italy in October. India is expected to hold the presidency of the G-20 in 2022.
The G-20 is an influential bloc that brings together the world’s major economies. The G-20 member countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
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