While the Russian invasion of Ukraine has upended trade diplomacy at the WTO in recent days, the TRIPS waiver discussions have proceeded among a small group of members and is likely nearing a compromise, although differences persist.
Sources familiar with the process told us that technical deliberations among the quad that includes the US, the EU, India and South Africa, are now nearing completion.
These discussions are soon expected to follow at the level of the ministers of these four WTO members. “If the current text is acceptable by high-level decision-makers, it will then be taken up by the wider membership”, a source said. It is understood that the process of taking the proposal to the wider membership will be brokered by WTO DG, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Considering the sensitivities in these discussions and the critical juncture at which it is poised, sources did not want to be identified.
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