December 21, 2021: After the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) was postponed in November, discussions on the proposal to lift vaccine patent monopolies (known as the ‘TRIPS waiver’) have intensified, as WTO Ministers from South Africa, India, the United States and the European Union met online to discuss a way forward and find common ground.
December 16, 2021: Nobel Laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz, has called on the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to support a proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to lift intellectual property patents on COVID19 vaccines.
December 16, 2021: As World Trade Organisation (WTO) delegates meet today to discuss a proposal to temporarily lift vaccine intellectual property patents, vaccine equity advocates are calling for immediate action amid a ‘tsunami’ of Omicron cases.
December 12, 2021: A coalition of thirty-three civil society organisations has written to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week, calling for NZ to use its bilateral trade negotiations with the United Kingdom and European Union to push for their support of a proposal to temporarily lift patent monopolies on vaccines at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
December 14, 2021: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today announced that Australia will produce millions of mRNA vaccines from 2024 through an ‘in-principle’ deal struck between Moderna, the Federal Government, and the Victorian Government to build a local manufacturing facility in the state.
December 13, 2021: A coalition of regional and national civil society groups from the ten ASEAN countries has asked the ASEAN secretariat to conduct a human rights assessment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement due to come into force in January 2022.
ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
December 8, 2021: One hundred and twenty-eight civil society groups from around the world last week sent an open letter to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation asking the WTO to resume urgent negotiations and decide to waive monopolies on COVID1-19 vaccines and related products.
December 7, 2021:The World Health Organisation treaty for handling future pandemics initiated last week should include waiving rules on vaccine monopolies and sharing knowledge to enable developing countries to produce their own vaccines, but the timetable is too slow and too late to save lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.
December 1, 2021: While rich countries like Australia are reaching 80% or more double vaccination rates, less than 5% of people in many low income countries have received COVID-19 vaccines. Millions are dying while new more infectious strains of the virus like Omicron develop, reports AFTINET Convenor Patricia Ranald in Michael West Media.
The global federation of nurses and carers unions, Global Nurses United (GNU), has appealed to the United Nations to conduct a mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to investigate the role of member states in blocking access to COVID19 vaccines for low-income countries.