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The Rome Declaration at the conclusion of the G20 Leaders' Summit on Sunday has agreed to mutually accept Covid-19 vaccines that are deemed safe and efficacious by the WHO, a development that will be useful for opening up the global tourism sector for economic recovery post the pandemic shut down.
"Covid-19 immunization is a global public good and the recognition of Covid-19 vaccines, which are deemed to be safe and efficacious by the WHO will be mutually accepted, subject, of course to, the national law and privacy law that countries may have," said Piyush Goyal, India's Sherpa at the G20 and Union Minister for Commerce and Industry.
"But more importantly, it has been agreed that everybody will help to optimize the processes and procedures of the World Trade Organization for vaccine approval and emergency use authorization and the WHO will be strengthened so that they can do recognition of vaccines faster," Goyal added as he briefed the media after what he called as the successful culmination of G20 Summit.
This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's eighth G20 Summit since 2014 and the first in-person summit since the Osaka Summit in 2019. The theme of the summit under the Italian Presidency was 'People, Planet, Prosperity', with an overarching theme of recovery from the pandemic.
The Prime Minister participated in all three Summit Sessions on 'Global Economy and Global Health', 'Climate Change and Environment' and 'Sustainable Development'. The leaders adopted the 'Rome Declaration' after over five days of extensive negotiations.
Stating that within the overarching theme of the summit, the G20 had delivered "a strong message of recovery from the pandemic, recovery in terms of the economy and of course, different sectors like health, employment, education, tourism and most significantly climate action."
The Declaration has also agreed to extend the debt suspension service initiative so that vulnerable countries, low-income countries are not burdened with debt repayment at this critical time.
On agriculture, "livelihoods for small and marginal farmers were at the focus of our discussions and everybody has agreed that improving their livelihood is an important global effort that we all have to put in," the Union Minister added.
Underscoring the achievement of the G20 framework on base erosion and profit sharing, Goyal said it was a historic accomplishment for a more stable and fairer international tax system.
The G20 had acknowledged the importance of shared standards for seamless travel, including testing requirements and results, vaccination certificates and mutual recognition of digital applications, the Minister added.
"G20 affirms the role of data for development," he said.
India also pushed for language on ending gender-based violence and increasing women's participation in the workforce; language denouncing uneven distribution of unpaid care and domestic work, Goyal added.
Keywords: G20 Leaders’ Summit, The Rome Declaration, Covid-19, Vaccines, International Relations