LONDON – French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday expressed support for the lifting of vaccine patents to help end the coronavirus pandemic, putting France on a collision course with the UK and Germany ahead of the G7 summit in England.
In one Tweeter Following consultations with NGOs, Macron wrote that “from day one, France has strived to make solutions to the pandemic a global public good”.
He added: “Dose sharing, openness of intellectual property, financing of health systems. It’s up to the G7 to get involved!
An Elysee official confirmed that “opening up intellectual property” meant supporting the lifting of vaccine patents.
South Africa and India have offered to waive intellectual property protection for coronavirus-related products, including vaccines at the World Trade Organization. The EU has consistently opposed the call, arguing that intellectual property is not a barrier to accessing vaccines and if so, existing compulsory licensing arrangements should be used. .
Among the G7 countries, Germany and the UK are also opposed to the WTO waiver, while Japan and Canada have taken more ambiguous positions, but have not expressed categorical support for a waiver. derogation. The United States has said it will support a limited vaccine waiver and Italian officials have supported that position. It’s unclear whether Macron would impose a similar limit on his support.
Cécile Duflot, Executive Director of Oxfam France and former French Minister, Premier tweeted that Macron would back the waiver at the G7 meeting in Cornwall, which begins on Friday.
As the EU opposes the waiver, Macron has previously expressed mixed opinions on the matter, saying he is “in favor of opening up intellectual property” but also questioning whether intellectual property is the main blocking issue. access to vaccines.
However, during a recent visit to South Africa, he told an event at the University of Pretoria that South Africa could “count on France”.
“I will be by your side on the key issues and the main fights and on [the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights] and IP, ”he said, according to the Mail and Guardian.
Rym Momtaz contributed reporting.
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