(29 November 2021) On 24 November the Council of Global Unions (CGU) call on governments to act urgently to secure universal access to Covid-19 vaccines and health products and technologies. Please share the CGU statement with your trade (and health) ministers!
The CGU joins the many voices demanding a temporary and targeted Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) ‘waiver’ in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that would make it easier to protect all workers and communities from the coronavirus. Only a handful of countries – including the EU as a block – continue to reject the waiver, essentially choosing to protect the monopoly rights of the pharmaceutical industry before the lives of people. The European Parliament does support the waiver - see Text Adopted.
It has been nearly two years since the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Workers have stepped up, putting themselves at risk to safeguard people’s lives, livelihoods, and the global economy, and driven outstanding advances in science and medicine with the rapid development of Covid-19 tests, treatments, drugs, medical devices, personal protective equipment and, most importantly, vaccines. Public money has supported much of the research needed to develop Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. It is only reasonable that the benefits of this investment are shared as widely as possible.
To secure the waiver, the TRIPS Council can be convened at any time to put forward a written proposal for the WTO General Council to formalise. No Ministerial meeting is needed.
For more info see Public Services International (PSI) website https://publicservices.international/resources/news/global-unions-call-for-urgent-waiver-on-vaccine-patents-and-supplies-to-tackle-dangerous-new-variants?id=12505&lang=en. .