At WTO, LDC group backs India-SA proposal for waiver of IP rights on COVID vaccines

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 24, 2021, 05:41 PM(IST)

AstraZeneca Covid vaccine (file photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The 35 member LDC group (Least-developed countries) has come out to support the India-South Africa proposal for waiver on IPR or intellectual property rights for COVID vaccine patents

The 35 member LDC group (Least-developed countries) has come out to support the India-South Africa proposal for waiver on IPR or intellectual property rights for COVID vaccine patents. Tuesday saw a meet on the issue that has seen "rapid" movement and getting support from "top to bottom", one official aware of the development told WION.

The proposal once approved will make access to vaccines easier. No outcome has come from WTO yet, with the discussion still underway. It could take time to create more consensus since the opposition is primarily from Western countries.

Countries like the EU, the US, and others are opposed to the proposal who see a free license regime a loss that can permanently alter the IP landscape. The Indian-South African proposal of last year comes even as the top focus globally has been easy access for covid vaccines.

Intact, 14 European parliamentarians have written a strongly worded letter to EU leadership calling for support for India's South Africa proposal. India-South African proposal is seen as a "nuclear option" and in fact, the Italian Parliament had backed the proposal in December. Global civil society groups are also keen on US President to back the waiver. A group of lawmakers from the Democratic Party are also keen on the wavier.

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