Statement: We Urge Countries To Stand Firm In Support Of The Trips Waiver

We, the undersigned, strongly call on the 64 governments that are co-sponsors of the COVID-19 Waiver on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to stand firm to ensure that the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopts the Waiver decision in its entirety.

The majority of the population in developing and least developed countries continue to be unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated even as the wealthy countries are mass vaccinating their third booster shots. Potential treatment medicines are locked up in a host of intellectual property monopolies as we have seen with vaccines and other needed COVID-19 medical products.

COVID-19 is not going away and there is still strong blocking of the TRIPS Waiver by European countries who are trapping the WTO membership in circular discussions at the TRIPS Council.

Worse, there are several diversionary maneuvers from developed countries that can only be seen as undermining the Waiver. These include:

THE SO-CALLED “WALKER PROCESS”:

In June, 2021, claiming to seek a WTO response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand was unilaterally selected by the WTO General Council Chair to facilitate negotiations that, in actual fact, promote more liberalization and even more reliance on the private sector, which has let us down so far. This process does not have any legitimacy as it fails to have a mandate of the WTO Members. In the name of responding to the pandemic, developed countries including the US, the EU, and Japan are using this process to reshape the WTO for their own interests.

MERCK’S AND PFIZER’S VOLUNTARY LICENSE ON THEIR COVID-19 TREATMENT PILL:

The two Big Pharma companies’ voluntary licenses exclude developing countries whose populations constitute a large part of the world and, in the least developed countries, patents over these products do not even exist. These licenses, in effect then, lock up generic manufacturers that are given the voluntary licenses to supply only to countries determined by the intellectual property holders. These voluntary licenses are nothing to celebrate and perpetuate Big Pharma’s control of the global market even as the pandemic rages on.

The TRIPS Waiver continues to be the only real pathway to breaking Big Pharma’s oligopoly on critically needed vaccines and drugs to control COVID-19 deaths and illness.

We reiterate our call to the TRIPS Waiver co-sponsors to be resolute and for all supporting WTO Members to join the Waiver Decision, and also demand the blockers to move aside and not divert the world from, or dilute, the TRIPS Waiver.

INTERNATIONAL

  • Accountability International
  • Center for Economic and Social Rights
  • Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
  • Feminist Task Force
  • Fòs Feminista
  • GayLatino
  • Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)
  • Global South Coalition For Dignified Menstruation
  • International Network to End Violence Against Women and Girls (INEVAWG)
  • International Women’s Development Agency
  • Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS)
  • MenEngage Alliance
  • Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ)
  • Regions Refocus
  • Servicios Ecumenicos Para Reconciliacion Y Reconstruccion (SERR)
  • Social Watch
  • Southeast Asia Junction – Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies
  • The Global Interfaith Network For People of All SSOGIE
  • Third World Network (TWN)
  • Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
  • Women Won’t Wait Campaign (WWW)
  • Y-PEER Asia Pacific Center

REGIONAL

  • African Alliance
  • Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
  • Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW)
  • Centre for Development Alternatives
  • Pacific Network on Globalization
  • Poder
  • Red de Educación Popular entre Mujeres (REPEM)
  • Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe

NATIONAL

  • Action de Protection Mère et Enfant (APMEasbl)
  • All India Drug Action Network
  • Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS (ABIA)
  • Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
  • Beyond Beijing Committee Nepal
  • Bisan Center for Research and Development
  • Blue Diamond Society
  • Botswana GBV Prevention and Support Centre (BGBVC)
  • Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population
  • Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD)
  • Centro de Derechos de Mujeres
  • Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
  • Centro de la Mujer Peruana “Flora Tristán”
  • Colectivo Marcha del Orgullo (Perú)
  • CommonHealth
  • Community Initiatives for Development in Pakistan
  • Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE)
  • Consumers Association of Penang
  • Cooperation for Peace and Development (CPD)
  • Cotidiano Mujer
  • Criola
  • Crisis Home
  • Empower India
  • Fiji Women’s Rights Movement
  • Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual
  • Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM)
  • Gender And Development Action
  • Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre
  • GenDev Centre for Research and Innovation
  • GESTOS
  • Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas Subjetividades e Instituições em Dobras (GEPSID/
    UERJ)
  • Hami DajuVai
  • Initiative for Health & Equity in Society
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
  • Jan Reynders Gender Justice & Sustainable Development Consultancy
  • Liga Brasileira de Lésbicas
  • Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM)
  • MenEngage Aliance Nepal
  • Movement for Rural Development Organization (MRDO)
  • Narigrantha Prabartana
  • Naripokkho
  • National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRD)
  • National Campaign for Sustainable Development – Nepal
  • Observatorio de Género y Equidad
  • Participatory Research & Action Network-Praan
  • Partners for Law in Development
  • Policy Research for Development Alternative (UBINIG)
  • Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)
  • Sahabat Alam Malaysia / Friends of the Earth Malaysia
  • Sama Resource Group for Women and Health
  • Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre
  • Social Transformative Action Network for Development
  • Social Watch Philippines
  • Sukaar Welfare Organization
  • Voice Male Magazine
  • Woman Health Philippines
  • Women and Media Collective
  • Women Development Innovators
  • Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF)
  • Women Working Groups (WWG)
  • Young Feminists Movement (Y-Fem) Namibia Trust
  • Youth Association for Development
  • Yuwa