Pakistan, China support India's request for patent-free COVID vaccines!
Galatta | Nov 22, 2020, 09:38 pm
For quite a long time, India has not been having great diplomatic or political relations with Pakistan and China. In recent times, there have been exalted levels of tensions between India and Pakistan as well as India and China. India claims Pakistan to be supporting terrorists infiltration into Indian territory to carry out nefarious deeds on Indian soil and this, as well as the revoking of Article 370 in the Kashmir region have been major points of contention between the two nations. Similarly, clashes along the Indo-China border and accumulation of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), lead to a tense situation in the Ladakh region, especially around the Pangong Lake area. After multiple levels of talks, a position close to disengagement has been arrived at between India and China.
However, all this notwithstanding, both Pakistan and China have come forward to support India's request, at the World Trade Organisation. India had recently requested at the World Trade Organisation, that the vaccines for the dreaded COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus, be exempt from patent protections. This request has elicited the support of fellow Asian nations China and Pakistan but the United States of America and the European Union have expressed opposition to it. An informal meeting of the WTO's Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council had been convened recently at Geneva and this meeting was the place where India placed this proposal!
However, countries like Canada, Australia, Norway, Japan, United States & the United Kingdom along with the European Union, strongly opposed India & South Africa's joint proposal to temporarily waive off the intellectual property rules for the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as its diagnostics and therapeutics. This proposal was warmly welcomed by the World Health Organisation as well as the developing nations around the world and also a number of international organisations like the Amnesty International and Medicines Sans Frontiers. Pakistan rallied behind India, along with Mozambique, Kenya and Eswatini while China supported the proposal but at the same time, sought time to assess the legal and economic aspects of it. The WTO's TRIPS council is expected to convene again on December 10th and a final decision on India's proposal would be taken by the WTO General Council on December 17th! Stay tuned on updates...