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Goyal calls for IPR waiver in WTO

Urges to dismantle new trade barriers in global fight against Covid pandemic

Goyal calls for IPR waiver in WTO

Goyal calls for IPR waiver in WTO

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, on Tuesday called for waiver of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in World Trade Organisation (WTO) and dismantling new trade barriers in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In October 2020, India and South Africa had submitted the first proposal, suggesting a waiver for all WTO members on the implementation of certain provisions of the Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of Covid-19. In May this year, a revised proposal was submitted by 62 co-sponsors, including India, South Africa, and Indonesia. The agreement on TRIP came into effect in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on intellectual property (IP) rights such as copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.

"Our response to the pandemic needs to ensure equitable access to vaccines and other Covid-19 related health products by ensuring quick resolution of the supply side constraints. One of the ways to demonstrate this is by accepting the TRIPS waiver proposal," Goyal said, in his address to the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting in Naples, Italy. He also pitched for actively resolving new trade barriers like vaccine differentiations or Covid passports, which impose mobility restrictions and impede the movement of personnel needed for delivering critical services. "Covid-19 crisis is a powerful reminder of our inter-connectedness, and the need for a coordinated global strategy to overcome such an unprecedented public health situation," he said. The minister also said that besides focusing on facilitating free flow of goods, G20 countries should make health services accessible and more affordable by the citizens of the world by enabling free flow of health services.

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