G20 member states have reached ‘broad consensus’ on vaccine certificates: Goyal
The G20 member states have reached “broad consensus” on the issue of recognising vaccine certificates for resumption of travel and economic activities to boost post-pandemic recovery, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday
The G20 member states have reached “broad consensus” on the issue of recognising vaccine certificates for resumption of travel and economic activities to boost post-pandemic recovery, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
Goyal, who is India’s G20 sherpa or personal representative of the head of government for preparing for the grouping’s summit, told a news briefing in Rome that the country had made “significant interventions” in discussions on key issues such as mutual recognition of vaccine certificates, sustainable development and climate change that will figure in the declaration to be issued after the G20 Summit.
He said there was “broad consensus” on mutual recognition of vaccine certificates because all the nations wish to resume travel and economic activity. The G20 members are working towards the acceptable language to bring the matter within the grouping’s framework, he said.
India and some other states pushed for the inclusion of vaccine certificates into the health paragraph of the proposed declaration so that it takes centre stage for current and future pandemics. The declaration is expected to address the recognition of both vaccines and certificates, and the G20 is also looking at building capacity and strengthening processes for faster approval of more vaccines, he said.
“We are quite confident that there is broad consensus and the language is being worked out on how we can bring it in. To bring in the sense and bring confidence to the world, that we are all committed to faster recovery, resilient recovery, yet at the same time ensuring that there is sufficient policy space for nations to protect their own national interests,” Goyal said.
The G20 sherpas have held discussions over the past three days on the proposed declaration to be adopted at the G20 Summit during October 30-31. Goyal said India had spoken for developing and low and middle-income countries at these talks, and most G20 states had endorsed the country’s position that “extensive Covid-19 immunisation is a global public good”.
India also batted for sustainable development and food security and insisted that policies must protect the interests of small and marginal farmers while conserving local food cultures that are important for food security.
On climate change and environment, India spoke on the “need for critical enablers for galvanising global climate action”, including commensurate long-term concessional climate finance, access to affordable and sustainable technology, and a commitment to adopt sustainable lifestyles and responsible consumption patterns, Goyal said.
As co-chair of the G20 framework working group on economic recovery, India is ensuring there is no premature withdrawal of financial support for the most vulnerable countries.
In the realm of tax reforms, India pushed the G20 to address a “mismatch between the source of generation of profits and jurisdiction where profits are taxed” to ensure that large MNCs pay a minimum effective corporate tax in the country of operation, he said.
As the co-chair of G20’s anti-corruption working group, India made contributions to asset recovery, information-sharing, law enforcement cooperation, technology and denial of safe havens. In the field of digital economy, Goyal said India pushed the need for balancing the free flow of data with a “narrative for cross-border data flows and accommodating development imperatives of developing countries”.
Goyal also said India was one of the most responsible countries in terms of meeting its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, several other countries hadn’t fulfilled their commitments to providing finance and technology to developing countries. The G20 sherpas discussed how to reflect collective efforts and the need for all nations to meet their targets while being more ambitious while going forward, he said.