July 12, 2021: More than 50,000 Australians have signed petitions asking the Australian Government to support changes to trade rules that would help most people in the world get access to COVID-19 vaccines. Negotiations have started and the Australian government still has not done so. We need to increase the pressure and tell our local MPs to support these changes.
World Trade Organisation
June 30, 2021: Current trade rules give pharmaceutical companies 20-year monopoly patents on COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products, which are delaying access for low-income countries. This is why over 100 WTO member countries are supporting the South African and Indian proposals for a temporary waiver of these rules during the pandemic.
June 14, 2021: The European Parliament passed a resolution on June 10, 2021, that supported negotiations for a temporary waiver of some WTO rules on patents to improve global access to affordable COVID-19-related medical products and to address global production constraints and supply shortages.
June 10, 2021: Médecins sans Frontières has welcomed the opening of text-based negotiation at the World Trade Organisation as a major breakthrough for South Africa, India and 63 sponsoring low- and middle-income countries, supported by over 100 countries in total. The revised proposal seeks suspension of patent monopoly rights for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and equipment during the pandemic.
June 9, 2021: The Morrison Coalition government has been urged by 156 Australian lawyers and legal academics to support the proposed suspension of patents on COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and equipment, as the Prime Minister takes part in the G7 deliberations on this issue.
June 8, 2021
“As the World Trade Organisation TRIPS Council meets today, the European Union has put forward a tiny clarification of existing WTO rules, that would not remove the obstacles and delays in those rules,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network said today.
June 7, 2020: Ahead of a World Trade Organisation meeting on June 8-9, a group of civil society organisations including AFTINET, Amnesty International Australia, GetUp!, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, Public Services International and the Humanism Project gathered outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Sydney to hand over more than 50,000 signatures in support of fair access for vaccines for all.
June 3, 2021: Californians gathered at the Consulate of Australia in San Francisco on June 2, 2021 for a vigil remembering those who have died from COVID-19 and calling on the government of Australia to support policies needed to increase global access to vaccines and treatments.
May 24, 2021: The European Parliament Development Committee voted on May 20, 2021, to call on the European Union to support the suspension of intellectual property rights in the World Trade Organisation for vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 while the pandemic lasts.
The resolution “calls for the EU to set up a clear and coherent EU global COVID-19 vaccination strategy, focusing on ensuring equal, affordable and timely access to vaccination for people in developing countries.”