Ahead of a crucial summit of the G7 grouping, French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the supply of raw materials for the production of coronavirus vaccines to be facilitated to India and some other countries, saying that step was absolutely necessary. to increase manufacturing on your own. requirement also to help the African region.
At a press conference in Paris, Macron also favored a proposal by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization for a temporary lifting of patents on COVID-19 vaccines and said France will raise the issue at the G7 summit.
He said France and South Africa will propose at the G7 summit that nations should work on exemptions from intellectual property rights, saying that patents should not create obstacles to boost vaccine production.
The leaders of the G7 countries – France, Germany, Japan, the UK, the US, Italy and Canada – are holding a summit in the British compound of Cornwall on June 11-13 with a focus on exploring ways to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate virtually in the summit’s outreach sessions on June 12 and 13, the Foreign Ministry (MEA) said on Thursday.
By facilitating the supply of raw materials for vaccines, Macron keeping ingredient supply chains open was key to boosting vaccine production.
“As we know, there have been export bans by various G7 member countries that have blocked production in other countries … I’ll just take one example, India,” he said.
“India, and in particular the Serum Institute of India, has been blocked in its production by restrictions on the export of the ingredients necessary to produce these vaccines in certain G7 economies,” said the French president.
“These restrictions must be lifted both so that India can produce more on its own and to be able to supply very quickly to Africans in particular, who are highly dependent on its production,” he said.
Excerpts from Macron’s press conference were made available by the French embassy in India.
On the issue of patent exemption for COVID-19 vaccines, countries must ensure that intellectual property rights will never be an obstacle to access to vaccines.
“And for me, it is the principle that should govern our work. Intellectual property should never block these technology transfers and the ability to produce,” Macron said.
“That is why we decided to put on the table with South Africa for this G7 a proposal that also allows working on a repeal limited in time and space of this intellectual property,” he said.
At the same time, he mentioned the need for fair remuneration for innovation and respect for intellectual property.
“It is an initial proposal from India and South Africa that we have reworked, that we still want to work with the WHO, the WTO, our partners. But I hope that it will allow precisely an agreement during this G7,” he said.
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