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'Building Back Stronger': PM Modi Talks Global Recovery from Pandemic in G7 Address

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India has been invited as a guest country at the summit along with South Africa, Australia and South Korea.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit on Saturday emphasised on keeping open supply chains for vaccine raw materials and components to help enhance vaccine production in countries like India.

The session, titled ‘Building Back Stronger - Health’, focused on global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and on strengthening resilience against future pandemics, the government said in a release.

India has been invited as a guest country to the summit of the Group of Seven, made up of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan as well the European Union, along with South Africa, Australia and South Korea, and will be participating virtually. Modi is set to address two breakout sessions on Sunday, as well.

The PM also sought the G7’s support for a proposal moved by India and South Africa at the WTO for a TRIPS waiver, a move strongly supported by Australia. India has worked with South Africa and other partners at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek a relaxation in the norms of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Modi’s global address came after India’s fight with a devastating Covid-19 second wave. The PM expressed appreciation for the support extended by the G7 and other guest countries during the recent wave.

The PM said there should be a ‘one earth, one health’ approach, which got echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Modi talked about India’s ‘whole of society’ approach to fight the pandemic, “synergising the efforts of all levels of the government, industry and civil society".

He also mentioned “India’s successful use of open source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management, and conveyed India’s willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries", the release said.

The PM called for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, emphasizing on the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies in this regard, the release said.

Here are the issues India has engaged closely with the G7 grouping on:

Health: India has been involved in various working-level meetings on the healthcare front; Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan participated in the G7 Health Ministers’ meeting on June 4.

Climate & Environment: India has engaged closely with the UK and other G7 members on important issues on climate change, including on areas for collaboration in the run up to the COP26 summit in November. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar participated in a relevant Ministerial meeting on 21 May.

Technology: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has represented India on the ministerial meeting on several important issues of cyber governance and regulation on April 29.

Economic Resilience Panel (ERP): Principal Economic Advisor, Mr. Sanjeev Sanyal represented India on the G7 ERP as an Observer. The panel is discussing ways to strengthen resilience of global supply chains and preserve a free and open multilateral trading system.

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