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Sitharaman Meets Top WTO Official in US Amidst India's Push for IPR Waiver on Covid-19 Vaccine

PTI

Last Updated: October 15, 2021, 22:29 IST

FILE PHOTO: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.(PTI)

FILE PHOTO: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.(PTI)

The meeting between Sitharaman and Iweala took place on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday met the Director General of WTO Ngozi Okonjo Iweala here in the US amidst India's proposal for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines and medicines worldwide. The meeting between Sitharaman and Iweala took place on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings.

Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman interacts with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala @NOIweala, Director General @WTO on the sidelines of @WorldBank-@IMFNews Annual Meetings 2021 in Washington D.C., today, the Ministry of Finance said on Twitter. The meeting assumes significance as India along with South Africa has been pushing for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines and medicines globally.

India in June suggested to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to begin text-based negotiations on the temporary TRIPs waiver proposal to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, India and South Africa had submitted the first proposal, suggesting a waiver for all WTO members on the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPs Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19.

In May this year, a revised proposal was submitted by 62 co-sponsors, including India, South Africa and Indonesia. The agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPs came into effect in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on Intellectual Property (IP) rights such as copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.

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first published:October 15, 2021, 22:29 IST
last updated:October 15, 2021, 22:29 IST