'One earth one health' approach to pandemic: Highlights from PM Modi's  address to G7 leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for following a "one earth, one health" approach to effectively deal with the coronavirus pandemic. During a virtual address at an outreach session, the PM also sought the support of the G7 grouping to lift patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines. The session, titled ‘Building Back Stronger - Health’, focused on global recovery from the ongoing pandemic as well as strengthening resilience against future pandemics.

The prime minister will participate in the final day of the G7 Summit on Sunday and will speak in two sessions.

The Group of Seven (G7) comprises the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. As chair of G7, the UK invited India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa to the summit as guest countries.

The leaders of the world's advanced economies are holding a summit in Cornwall in the UK from June 11-13. It is for the first time the leaders of the grouping are meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Here are the highlights from the Prime Minister's address:

  • During the session, the Prime Minister expressed appreciation for the support extended by the G7 and other guest countries during the recent wave of COVID infections in India, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Highlighting India's 'whole of society' approach, he also explained the country's successful use of open-source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management. He conveyed India's willingness to share its experience and expertise with other developing countries.

  • Modi called for the adoption of a "one earth, one health" approach to the ongoing pandemic. According to reports, his remarks were echoed and supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Sources said he called for global unity, leadership and solidarity and emphasized the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies to prevent future pandemic outbreaks.

  • Modi made a strong plea for a temporary waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents. According to official sources, Australia and several other countries came out in strong support of the same.

  • Prime Minister committed India's support for collective endeavours to improve global health governance. He sought the G7's support for the proposal moved at the WTO by India and South Africa, for a TRIPS waiver on COVID related technologies.

  • His emphasis on keeping open supply chains for vaccine raw materials and components to help enhance vaccine production in countries like India received widespread support at the summit.

  • Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Modi also emphasised on the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies to deal with the challenge, according to an official statement.

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