G-20 leaders agreed to strengthen WHO to fast-track process for emergency use

    **EDS TWITTER IMAGE POSTED BY @PMOIndia ON SUNDAY, OCT. 31, 2021** Rome: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with G-20 leaders at Trevi Fountain in Rome. (PTI Photo)(PTI10_31_2021_000118B)

    The G-20 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have agreed that the WHO would be strengthened to fast-track the process for emergency use authorisation for Covid-19 vaccines, India’s G-20 Sherpa Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.

    Briefing the media here, Goyal said the Leaders adopted the ‘Rome Declaration’ at the G20 Summit and the communiqué gives a very strong message under the health section with the countries agreeing that the COVID-19 immunization is a global public good.

    It was decided that the recognition of Covid vaccines which are deemed to be safe and efficacious by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be mutually accepted subject to national and privacy laws that the countries may have, Goyal said.

    “But more importantly it has been agreed that everybody will help to optimize the processes and procedures of the WHO for vaccine approval and emergency use authorisation, and the WHO will be strengthened so that it can do the recognition of vaccines faster,” he said.

    Prime Minister Modi had told G20 leaders on Saturday that India is ready to produce over 5 billion Covid vaccine doses by the end of next year to help the world in the fight against the pandemic.

    He had asserted that it was necessary that the WHO approves Indian vaccines at the earliest.

    A technical advisory group of the UN health agency will meet on November 3 to conduct a final “risk-benefit assessment” for Emergency Use Listing of Covaxin. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covishield are the two widely used vaccines in India.

    Goyal said Prime Minister Modi’s mantra of sustainable lifestyles was reflected in the G-20 declaration on sustainable consumption and responsible production patterns.

    Livelihoods of small, marginal farmers were among focus areas of India’s discussions at the G-20 Summit in Rome, Goyal said.

    The G20 is a leading global forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.

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