Media Releases

Community groups slam delay on TRIPS waiver inclusion of Covid-19 treatments and tests

Media Release December 15, 2022: The same dynamics that slowed and watered down the decision on the initial TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organization (WTO) now look likely to prevent a timely decision on expanding the waiver to cover treatments and tests. Calls for an extension to the original deadline of 17 December 2022 being led by the EU, Switzerland, Japan and the UK have been slammed by an alliance of health, human rights and fair-trade organisations.

Over 380 civil society organisations demand world governments quit ISDS as Australia pledges to do so

Sharm El-Sheikh, 16 November 2022 – More than 380 civil society organisations from over 60 countries across the world, including AFTINET, are calling on governments to put an end to a system of secretive tribunals which threaten global climate goals at the CCOP 27 Climate Change Conference.

Civil society groups say WTO decision on COVID-19 monopolies is weak and unworkable

Media Release                                                                                                      June 17, 2022

After nearly two years of delay, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference has produced a weak decision on COVID-19 medicine monopolies which covers only vaccines, excludes non-patent intellectual property barriers, and contains restrictions which are more onerous than some existing WTO rules. This condemns the world’s most vulnerable people to inequitable access to vaccines and treatments. They will continue to die in greater numbers than those lucky enough to live in high income countries.

Media Release: Civil society groups urge new government to support strong action on COVID-19 medicine monopolies at WTO meeting

6 June, 2022: Civil society groups say a new draft text supported by the EU should be rejected because it covers only vaccines, excluding treatments and tests. It also fails to address all forms of intellectual property, restricts the countries which can make use of it, and has onerous requirements which are worse than existing WTO rules

Media Release: Community groups ask ALP government for public consultation as US launches Indo-Pacific Economic Forum

May 24, 2022: US President Joe Biden yesterday launched the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), involving the US, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Others may join later.

AFTINET condemns secretive process and calls for full cost-benefit analysis of India-Australia trade deal

Media Release April 2, 2022: The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network of community groups has today warned that the “early harvest” trade deal between India and Australia must be independently evaluated to scrutinise both the costs and benefits for Australia.

The signing and release of the text just before the election and is due to be called after parliament has risen will also avoid any parliamentary scrutiny of the text until after the election.

Media Release: Leaked proposal on WTO COVID-19 monopolies a small step but more needed for equitable global access to vaccines and treatments, say advocates

17 March, 2022: After 18 months of talks, a  leaked document proposing a deal between the United States, the European Union, South Africa and India that claims to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries reveals some positive steps. But advocates say more is needed to address the inequity resulting in only 4% of people in low -income countries having had two vaccine doses, and even less access to new  treatments. Under the leaked proposal, access to treatments and tests would not be included, but would be considered only after another six months’ delay.

Media Release: COVID-19 second anniversary: vaccine injustice continues as millions die in low-income countries and variants spread

10 March, 2022: Friday March 11 marks the second anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter the third pandemic year, Australians are celebrating high rates of triple vaccination and emergence from lockdowns. But in low-income countries, only 4% have had two vaccine doses, millions are dying and new variants continue to develop. 

Media Release: WTO must fix unjust global access to vaccines, treatments, and tests at meetings this week

February 22, 2022 Media Release: The World Trade Organisations (WTO) this week must seize the opportunity to address the global inequity in COVID19 vaccines, tests and treatments, say vaccine equity advocates. While in Australia debate has focused on the availability of free rapid antigen tests (RATs), globally there is inequitable global access to tests, vaccines and treatments that are critical to protecting people from COVID-19.

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