Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The meeting between Sitaman and Iweala took place on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

  • PTI
  • Latest update:October 15, 2021 at 10:29 PM IST
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday met World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala here in the United States amid India’s proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property rights over COVID-19 vaccines and medicines worldwide. The meeting between Sitaman and Iweala took place on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Federal Finance Minister Smt. nsitharaman interacts with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General, WTO on the sidelines of the @WorldBank- @IMFNews Annual Meetings 2021 in Washington, DC, today, the Ministry of Finance said on Twitter. The meeting is gaining importance as India and South Africa have been pressing for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights over COVID-19 vaccines and medicines globally.

India in June proposed to members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to start text-based negotiations on a proposed temporary waiver of the TRIPs Agreement to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, India and South Africa submitted the first proposal, indicating a waiver by all WTO members regarding the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPs Agreement regarding the prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19.

In May this year, a revised proposal was submitted by 62 sponsors, including India, South Africa and Indonesia. The Agreement on Commercial Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS, entered into force in January 1995. It is a multilateral agreement on intellectual property rights such as copyrights, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.

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