NEW DELHI: The European Parliament has passed a resolution to extend support to the India-South Africa proposal at the WTO, seeking a waiver of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on Covid -19 vaccines. “EU to set up a clear and coherent EU global COVID-19 vaccination strategy and therefore to support the Indian and South African World Trade Organization initiative for a temporary waiver on intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, equipment, and treatments while urging pharmaceutical companies to share their knowledge and data through the World Health Organization COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP),” the resolution stated.
The resolution comes weeks after US President Joe Biden announced that his government would support the proposal at the WTO.
It is likely that the proposal would be taken up at the European Parliament during its session between June 7 and 10. In October 2020, India and South Africa had jointly initiated the proposal at WTO, but met with resistance from the West.
The US’ approval for the proposal triggered support from other quarters. In March, a group of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) had urged the European Commission, the highest decision making body of the EU, to support the proposal.
The issue was discussed during the India-EU Summit on May 8 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the EU to support the joint India-South Africa proposal.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had also said that the issue was an important one and should be taken up open for discussion. India and the EU are major centres of vaccine manufacturing.