15 years of BRICS: India, South Africa’s move to push for IPR waiver for COVID vaccine is game changer, says expert

By Financial Express

At the recently concluded BRICS Foreign Ministers meet, the global multilateral group extended support to India-South Africa COVID vaccine waiver proposal at WTO. And at the same meeting, for the first time, the BRICS FMs agreed on a common, stand-alone joint statement on reforming the multilateral system.

Both Russia and China, reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in world affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

According to the joint statement which was issued at the end of the meet, all the ministers present supported the ongoing consideration in WTO on a COVID -19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS agreement.

Who were present at the meeting virtually?

India is holding the Chairship of BRICS and was represented by Dr S Jaishankar; Brazil’s Carlos France; Russia’s Sergey Lavrov; China’s Wang Yi; South Africa’s Grace Pandor.

Four key deliverables for India’s Chairship

These include– Reform of the Multilateral System; Using Digital and Technological Solutions to achieve SDGs; Counter Terrorism Cooperation; and Enhancing People to People Cooperation.

During the meeting external affairs minister Jaishankar had called for the “territorial integrity” of all states to be preserved. And stated that: “India strives for a fair, equitable, inclusive, just and representative multipolar international system. A system which is based on international law and the UN Charter that recognises sovereign equality of all States and respects their territorial integrity.”

The meeting which took place on Tuesday (June 1, 2021) was in preparation for the forthcoming annual BRICS summit later this year, which will be hosted by India.

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