Piyush Goyal calls upon G-20 nations to ensure access to essential medicines
New Delhi, May 15: India has called upon the G-20 nations to ensure access to essential medicines, treatments and vaccines at affordable prices.
In the Interventions during the 2nd G20 Virtual Trade & Investment Ministers Meeting, held through Video-conferencing, the Commerce and Industry Minister 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 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.
Goyal said that doing away with the policy instrument of export restrictions is not a panacea that will guarantee access to medical products and food for all. In fact, such a step is likely to lead to a flight of these critical products to the highest bidder, making them inaccessible to the resource-poor. He said that more effective and lasting way to ensure food security of the most vulnerable, would be by agreeing to eliminate the historic asymmetries in the Agreement on Agriculture, and delivering on the long-standing Ministerial mandate to establish permanent, adequate and accessible disciplines on Public Stockholding for food security purposes by the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO.
Goyal said that learning from this extremely distressing experience, the world has to come together to build partnerships among like-minded nations with shared values of democracy, rules-based and transparent business models and concern for humanity as a whole. India wishes to contribute to this global effort. He said in the last few months, we have embarked upon an ambitious reform agenda under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to transform our country.
Our future will be crafted on five pillars - a strong and vibrant economy, massive infrastructure development, building modern systems with stable and predictable regulatory practices, leveraging the huge demographic dividend our democracy offers and the growing demand for goods and services of 1.3 billion Indians. We are confident we will emerge stronger after the implementation of the announcement of Prime Minister Modi of a special economic package amounting to around 10 per cent of our GDP.