France is going into its third national lockdown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, after a deadly third wave hit Europe, causing soaring infection and death rates. With an average of more than 37,000 daily new cases over the past week, tougher restrictions have become inevitable.  French President Emmanuel Macron announced the new restrictions […] Continue reading ->
Despite a groundswell of growing support, a South African and Indian proposal to the World Trade Organization to suspend patents and other intellectual property on vital COVID-19 vaccines and other health products was put on hold by WTO’s General Council in its session on Monday – with the next debate likely to occur in May.  […] Continue reading ->
Over 400 US organisations and 115 Members of the European Parliament declared their support this week for a waiver on intellectual property rights for COVID-19 products, due to be discussed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Council. Even so, WTO insiders said that consensus was more likely to build around a “third way” approach […] Continue reading ->
Nigeria’s former finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has become the first woman and first African to be elected as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In a press conference just hours after her historic election, she signalled that she would reboot the WTO’s mission, making both health and climate twin cornerstones of global trade […] Continue reading ->
The contribution COVID-19 vaccines can make to beating the pandemic will depend on the extent to which they are produced at scale, priced affordably, and deployed globally, says the first peer reviewed study on equitable access to vaccines, published in The Lancet on Friday.  The Lancet article comes in the wake of a joint appeal […] Continue reading ->
WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday issued yet another plea to leaders of rich countries to “honor their pledges” to fund COVID-19 vaccines sufficient to immunize the highest risk groups across the world. He spoke a day after South African officials raised the spectre that the world was heading towards a state […] Continue reading ->
South Africa is campaigning for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waiver intellectual property rights on all products related to COVID-19 for the duration of the pandemic. Mustaqeem De Gama, Counsellor at the South African Permanent Mission in Geneva, is leading the campaign. Kerry Cullinan and Elaine Fletcher spoke to him about the reasons why […] Continue reading ->