June 1, 2020: During April and May the institutional arrangements for global cooperation to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic – the UN Security Council, the World Health Organisation, the G7 and G20 – failed to provide leadership, largely due to the US Trump Administration.
May 20, 2020: The World Health Assembly unanimously adopted the draft resolution on COVID-19 which endorsed the central role of the World Health Organisation in the global response to the pandemic, called for the greatest cooperation between member states in providing resources and sharing knowledge about treatments and vaccines for the new coronavirus, and established two investigations – one into the origins of the coronavirus and how it was transmitted to humans, and one into the response to the pandemi
May 19, 2020: Agenda Item 3 at World Health Assembly, taking place virtually over May 18-19, 2020, firmly endorses the role of the World Health Organisation, calls for maximum cooperation to develop treatments and vaccines for the new corona virus, and sets up two investigation processes into the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 12, 2020: Patents and other intellectual property rights could really slow down efforts to treat, contain and eradicate the new coronavirus, as was seen in the case of the A/H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, argues Ellen ’t Hoen, a specialist lawyer at Medicines Law & Policy, The Netherlands.
May 7, 2020: Economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs and six other global figures have called for an immediate moratorium on all Investor-State Dispute Settlement claims and a permanent restriction on all such claims related to government action to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 30, 2020: Australia’s Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has issued a directive about the new COVID-19 tracing app to reassure users that their privacy will be protected, and their data will not be abused.
The government claims that the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) Determination 2020, Section 7 states that the data must be stored in Australia.
April 23.2020 Dr Patricia Ranald’s article in The Conversation shows how legal firm are already advising global companies on how to use clauses in trade agreements which allow them to claim millions in compensation for government regulation during the pandemic which may harm their profits.
More generally, she argues that the realities of the pandemic have forced governments to act in ways which show the flaws in the current trade deals that are negotiated in secret.
April 22, 2020: Deborah Gleeson and David Legge argue in The Conversation that patents and related intellectual property rights can present formidable barriers to procuring medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and medical devices.
They can cost lives, particularly during a public health emergency. the Australian government can do three things to tackle these barriers.