Pacific unions urge Australia to do more to support waiver on COVID-19 patent monopolies

15 March, 2022: The President of the Vanuatu Association for Public Service Employees, Dr Basil Leodoro, has urged the Australian government to do more to support a proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that would temporarily lift patent monopolies on COVID19 vaccines, tests and treatments.

Australia has previously declared its support for the TRIPS waiver on COVID19 vaccines, but advocates say that the government must support an extension of the waiver to tests and treatments.

Speaking on ABC’s Pacific Beat, Dr Leodoro said: "The union is calling urgently to Australia for supporting the temporary TRIPS waiver at WTO to allow us to increase supplies of diagnostics and treatment for COVID-19.”

"But also we want to call in Australia and other countries, as our big brothers, to ensure discussion on pandemic treaty at the WHO level ... these are important global steps that are going to affect the everyday worker, wherever they are around the world."

  • To listen to the full interview, click here.