December 1, 2020: Any COVID-19 vaccines need to be freely accessible to all countries, but this requires a waiver to some World Trade Organisation rules, argues Rachel Thrasher, a Research Fellow at Boston’s Global Development Policy Center.
November 23, 2020: The United States, the European Union and other mainly wealthy nations gathered in Geneva on November 21, 2020, to reiterate their opposition to a proposal to waive intellectual property rules for COVID-19 drugs, according to a Reuters report, despite pressure to make an exception to improve access to these drugs for poorer countries.
Media release November 14, 2020: “The giant RCEP trade deal will be signed tomorrow by Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries (but without India) with great fanfare about its claimed economic benefits. But the deal was completed before the COVID-19 pandemic, and has not been revised in the light of lessons from the pandemic. Like previous trade deals the RCEP restricts local industry policies,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
November 11, 2020: UN Human Rights Experts on November 9 called on the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic to base their response on the bedrock human-rights based principles of international solidarity, cooperation and assistance.
November 9, 2010: The Australian government recently announced new spending of A$500 million over three years to ensure provide COVID-19 vaccines and immunisation technical support to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati in the Pacific, and Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam in south-east Asia.
November 2, 2020: A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) – Whoever Finds the Vaccine Must Share It - shows the grave danger of failure to provide COVID-19 vaccines universally and fairly, as the global community witnesses a third wave of the pandemic in the northern winter.
October 26, 2020
“It is disappointing that Australia reportedly opposed proposals from India and South Africa to make COVID-19 treatments and vaccines more affordable and available to low-income countries at the World Trade Organisation Council on the Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement on October 16,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
October 20, 2020: South Africa and India called on the World Trade Organisation on October 2, 2020, to waive intellectual property rules that could impeded access to treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 pandemic programs.
October 7, 2020: The Nation magazine has started the investigation of investments that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation may have in the pharmaceutical companies wanting to manufacture possible COVID-19 vaccines. The Gates Foundation is the key funder of Gavi The Vaccine Alliance and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, as well as being a co-leader in the World Health Organisation’s COVAX Facility and Advanced Market Commitment funds.