NEW DELHI: BRICS leaders on Tuesday reiterated their commitment to equitable access to Covid vaccines and agreed to support the proposal for IPR waiver on the vaccines at the WTO.
“The ministers reaffirmed the need to use all relevant measures during the pandemic, including supporting ongoing consideration in WTO on a Covid-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health,” a joint statement from the leaders after the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting noted.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who chaired the meeting, said the principles guiding this grouping remain consistent. “We strive for a fair, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multipolar international system,” he added.
Sources confirmed all BRICS countries called for supporting the consideration in WTO on a Covid-19 vaccine IPR waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.
“They also reiterated the need for sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities and supply chains for medical products, promotion of price transparency and called for exercise of due restraint in the implementation of measures that could hinder the flow of vaccines, health products and essential inputs,” said the statement.
Discussions also revolved around the reforms in the global multilateral system and the leaders adopted and released the ‘BRICS Joint Ministerial Statement on Strengthening and Reforming of the Multilateral System’.
Sources said for the first time, BRICS foreign ministers have agreed on a common, standalone joint statement on reforming the multilateral system.
“They have also agreed that such reform has to cover all key multilateral institutions, including the UN and its principal organs (UN Security Council, General Assembly, ECOSOC, the Secretariat, etc), international financial architecture (IMF, World Bank), multilateral trading system (WTO, UNCTAD) and the global health governance system with the WHO at its core. In particular, BRICS FMs agreed to instill new life in the discussions on reform of UN Security Council,” they added.
According to the statement, the ministers acknowledged that global economic governance in an increasingly interconnected world is of critical importance for every member.