Modi, Morrison discuss equitable access to vaccines & medicines

New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Friday as the two leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring equ­itable access to vaccines and medicines, and discussed possible initiatives for it.

Modi and Morrison also reiterated the importance of working together for a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

During his telephonic conversation with Morrison, the PM conveyed his appreciation for the prompt and generous support extended by the government and the people of Australia for India’s fight against the second wave of Covid-19, as per a Prime Minister’s Office statement.

The two leaders agreed on the need to ensure an affordable and equitable access to vaccines and medicines for containing COVID-19 globally, it said. “Spoke with my friend @ScottMorrisonMP to thank him for Australia’s solidarity and support for India’s fight against the pandemic,” Modi tweeted after speaking with the Australian PM. “We agreed on the importance of ensuring affordable and equitable access to vaccines and medicines, and discussed possible initiatives in this regard,” he said.

During the call, the PM sought Australia’s support for the initiative taken at the World Trade Organisation by India and South Africa to seek a temporary waiver under TRIPS in this context, according to the PMO.

In October 2020, India and South Africa submitted a 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 their telephonic conversation, Modi and Morrison also took note of the progress made in the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since the virtual summit held on June 4, 2020 and discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation and foster people-to-people ties. “The leaders also discussed regional issues and reiterated the importance of working together for a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region," the statement said.

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