REACTION: States Must Stand Firm in Support of Key Access Provisions in Pandemic Treaty Draft
The first draft of the World Health Organisation’s Pandemic Treaty out today makes strong reference to mechanisms essential to improving access to pandemic countermeasures.
The text has several strong provisions including:
- Promotion of the use of time-bound intellectual property waivers.
- Reference to going beyond ‘charity model’ in future pandemic responses.
- Common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDRs) as a guiding principle.
Member states will meet from 27th February to 3rd March to discuss the draft text.
James Cole, Advocacy Manager at STOPAIDS, said:
“This Draft marks a powerful recognition that pandemic response cannot succeed on charity, rather it requires global solidarity.
With vaccines, tests, and treatments being delivered thanks to billions in public funding, it is welcome to see this text include support for intellectual property waivers, increased local production capacity and conditions on public funding for research.
The text is a strong first step to loosening the grip on intellectual property that Big Pharma companies have used to uphold monopolies and deny access to life-saving health tools through the COVID pandemic. By loosening this chokehold, the world will not have to fight the next pandemic with one hand behind its back.
However, language of ‘promoting’ and ‘encouraging’ manufacturers to enact the measures outlined lets industry off the hook and should be strengthened to ensure all stakeholders are committed to achieving an equitable pandemic response.
Now, low- and middle-income Member States must stand firm through negotiations and ensure that rich nations do not dilute the text in the interests of private profits.”
Today, just 27% of people in low-income countries have received a first dose of a COVID vaccine. Governments must learn from the mistakes of the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics that continue to cost lives.
- This is in reaction to the first draft of the Pandemic Treaty released today at 11am (GMT), a copy can be viewed here.
STOPAIDS is a UK-based HIV, health and rights network. We draw on our 35-year experience working on the HIV response to support UK and global movements to challenge systemic barriers and inequalities so that we can end AIDS and support people around the world to realise their right to good health and wellbeing.
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