G7 outreach summit: PM Narendra Modi gives one earth, one health mantra, seeks support on vaccine patent waiver

New Delhi: With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact large parts of the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 outreach summit gave the mantra “One Earth, One Health” and sought support for the COVID vaccine patent waiver. 

India, along with South Africa, South Korea & Australia were invited by UK for the G7 Outreach summit taking place in Cornwall. 

PM Modi joined the summit virtually with each leader having a screen through which the PM was connected digitally.

A PMO release said,”Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Prime Minister emphasized the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies in this regard.”

German chancellor Angela Merkel specifically referred to the PM’s mantra of “One Earth, One Health” at the meet and conveyed her strong support to it.

PM Modi during his address, asked the G7 countries to support India and South Africa’s proposal at WTO for COVID vaccine patent waiver. 

This proposal, he pointed out was part of the collective endeavours to improve global health governance for which India is committed.

Australian PM Scott Morrison during the summit, recalled his discussions with PM Modi about COVID vaccine patent waiver and conveyed his country’s strong support to it. 

Last week, WTO was able to achieve consensus on it with India calling for early conclusion of text based negotiations.

During the session, PM Modi thanked G7 and other countries present at the meet for supporting India amid the second wave of covid crisis. 

The release by the PMO also mentioned India’s use of digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management, something that India is willing to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries.

PM Modi also emphasised on keeping open supply chains for vaccine raw materials and components to help enhance vaccine production in countries like India received widespread support.

This is something that has been strongly backed by France with French President Emmanuel Macron at the summit calling for the COVID vaccine raw material being sent to major producers like India.

Ahead of the summit too, in an extensive presser Macron mentioned and highlighted that intellectual property (IP) should never be a barrier to accessing vaccines & need to work on the proposal for a time- and space-limited exemption of IP.

PM was speaking at the session, titled ‘Building Back Stronger – Health’. The session focused on global recovery from COVID pandemic and on strengthening resilience against future pandemics. 

On Sunday he will participate in 2 sessions at the G7 Outreach summit.

This is the 2nd time PM Modi is participating in G7. In 2019, France had invited India for the summit. 2020 also saw an invitation from the host US, but the summit could not happen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

India was first invited for G7 in 2003, when the then Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had gone to France for the summit. From 2005 to 2009, India was regularly invited with the participation of PM Manmohan Singh.

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