At COVID Summit, PM Modi Calls For Reforming WHO, WTO

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By: Ayanangsha Maitra
Updated: 13 May, 2022 1:04 am IST

NEW DELHI: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there have been calls for reforming the World Health Organisation (WHO), with many blaming the global health body for failing to react appropriately to the situation.

Reiterating the sentiment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture.

Speaking at the second Global COVID Virtual Summit in the evening, PM Modi also said that the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) need to be more flexible.

“WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture,” PM Modi said during his address at the summit hosted by US President Joe Biden.

Calling for streamlining of the WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics in order to keep supply chains stable, PM Modi said, “It’s clear that coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies. We must build (a) resilient supply chain, and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicine.”

“We also call for streamlining the WHO approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep the supply chain stable and predictable. As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in this effort,” he added.

Talking about reforming the World Trade Organisation, PM Modi said, “WTO rules, particularly Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), need to be more flexible.”

PM Modi also said that India initiated a people-centric strategy during the pandemic and supplied over 200 million doses to 98 countries, bilaterally as well as through COVAX, a global vaccine distribution system. He also said that India has developed low-cost COVID mitigation technologies for testing, treating and data management and shared these technologies with other countries.

“India’s Genomics Consortium has contributed significantly to the global database on the virus. I am happy to share that we will extend this network to countries in our neighbourhood,” PM Modi said. “In India, we extensively used our traditional medicines to supplement our fight against COVID and to boost immunity, saving countless lives,” he added.

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