May 14: India has called upon the G-20 nations to ensure access to essential medicines, treatments and vaccines at affordable prices. In his Interventions during the 2nd G20 Virtual Trade & Investment Ministers Meeting, held through Video-conferencing, the Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal asked the G20 members to first focus on immediate and concrete actions that can ease the distress being faced by people all over the world due to Corona pandemic. He said that the unprecedented situation calls for solidarity and a balanced, inclusive and calibrated response. An overriding priority for all countries at this time, is to save precious lives. He strongly called for the agreement to enable the use of TRIPs flexibilities to ensure access to essential medicines, treatments and vaccines at affordable prices. He also called upon the G-20 nations to also agree to provide diagnostic and protective equipment and healthcare professionals across borders where they are most needed.
The Minister said that widely regarded as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’, India is also proactively partnering in global efforts to develop vaccines and effective treatment for this disease. He said “We offer full support to any global engagements to further this cause. Staying true to our tradition of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”, i.e. the world is one big family, India has unconditionally provided medical supplies to over 120 countries to combat this disease, of which 43 countries received it as a grant. In addition, a USD 10 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund has been created and is being utilised to deliver urgent medical supplies, equipment and humanitarian assistance to our neighbours. We are also sharing our medical and public health expertise and capacity with them, using digital technologies.”
Shri Goyal thanked the Saudi Presidency for organising the 2nd G20 Trade & Investment Ministers Virtual Meeting.