World Trade Organization’s (WTO) director general Ngozi Onkonjo-Iweala on Thursday hailed the United States government’s decision to support the suspension of intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccines – while also emphasising the urgency of even more immediate actions to increase vaccine supplies to lower-income countries.   In a statement after a two-day closed-door WTO General […] Continue reading ->
The United States has swung its weight behind a hotly-debated proposal by India and South Africa to suspend intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. The dramatic turnabout in the US position, announced Wednesday evening by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, signals a sea change in the balance of powers […] Continue reading ->
CAPE TOWN – The “circular discussion” at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the TRIPS waiver needs to move to “text-based” negotiations, Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the WTO said on Tuesday. Her Indian counterpart, Brajendra Navnit, added that opponents of the waiver had been using “delaying tactics” since the beginning of […] Continue reading ->
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a “silent pandemic” of drug resistance to mutated bacteria, viruses and parasites is gaining ground and requires major government investments in antibiotic research and development (R&D), a group of experts has warned. “People are dying across the world from drug-resistant infections. This is a problem of today, and […] Continue reading ->
A growing consensus seems to be emerging out of this week’s high-level WTO meeting that glaring inequities in access to vaccines can be remedied by strengthening supply chains, avoiding export bans across borders, and ensuring that big pharma voluntarily transfers its vaccine technologies to poorer countries so they can produce their own vaccines.  “The significant […] Continue reading ->