Over 100 EU parliamentarians back India-South Africa proposal for COVID-19 vaccine IPR waiver
A waiver offers a crucial and much-needed act of effective solidarity, the parliamentarians said
More than 100 European Union Parliamentarians or MEPs have asked the European Commission and the European Council to not block a waiver for COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property rights (IPR) at the World Trade Organisation.
A declaration issued by 114 MEPs quoted in a WION report said, “EU’s open opposition to the TRIPS waiver risks exacerbating a dangerous North-South divide when it comes to affordable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, personal protective equipment, treatments, and vaccines."
The proposal for waiver was given by India and South Africa jointly last year. It, however, faces stiff opposition from western countries, including the EU.
Pointing out the need for an IPR waiver, it said, "WTO decision on a potential waiver offers a crucial and much-needed act of effective solidarity as it is an important step towards increasing local production in partner countries and, ultimately, suppressing this pandemic on a global scale."
The development comes ahead of the European Council meeting on Thursday and the crucial decision to be made by all Member States at the WTO General Council on March 1-2.
Calling for "constructive dialogue" with partner countries, the declaration highlighted that the action will "enable local production capacities (for covid vaccine) and increase their access to COVID-19 treatments."
Further, it reminded COVID-19 medical products are "global public goods" and the statements by the European Commission, which is the executive branch of the European Union have not "translated into actionable realities."