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G20 trade ministers vow to work towards fairer Covid vaccine distribution

Prime News, International (Milan), October 13:- G20 trade ministers on Tuesday promised to work towards a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines by lifting export restrictions and making the trade system more transparent.

Their final statement, adopted after a meeting in Sorrento, southern Italy, was a sign of the return of multilateralism, said Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

“We have to ensure that there is greater circulation of vaccines and that there are production factories in the developing countries,” French trade minister Franck Riester said.

While more than six billion vaccine doses have been produced and administered worldwide, only 1.4 percent of people in poor countries have been fully vaccinated, compared to 58 percent in rich countries, World Trade Organization chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said earlier this month.

Ahead of the WTO’s ministerial conference set for November 30 to December 3 in Geneva, she called on members to agree on a strong response to the pandemic based on a fairer sharing of the vaccines.

Riester said another issue was getting vaccine-makers to wave intellectual property rights to allow for production anywhere in the world.

The G20 members also agreed on the need to reform the WTO, something the European Commission has been insisting on for some time.

It backed the current talks on renegotiating fishing subsidies to ensure the sustainability of stocks. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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