COVID-19 Pandemic

WTO plans more meetings on waiving vaccine monopolies as Omicron rages and civil society condemns delay

January 11, 2022: The World Trade Organisation General Council met virtually on January 10. This was a response to India’s recent proposal to hold an urgent virtual Ministerial Conference on the WTO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a proposed temporary waiver of WTO intellectual property rules on vaccine monopolies, which would enable production of affordable vaccines in low-income countries.

Discussions on proposal to lift vaccine monopolies intensify at WTO, as experts reveal 100 companies could produce COVID19 vaccines in developing countries

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.

NZ civil society demands tougher stance on vaccine apartheid in UK trade negotiations

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).

Civil society urges WTO to reach an urgent decision to waive monopolies on vaccines as online negotiations resume

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.

WHO treaty for future pandemics may include sharing vaccine knowledge but will be too slow, and too late for COVID-19

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.

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