[Ip-health] Geneva Health Files: Latest version (May 8th) of the resolution on Covid-19 response for WHA73

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon May 11 04:34:04 PDT 2020


https://genevahealthfiles.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/latest-version-may-8th-of-the-resolution-on-covid-19-response-for-wha73/


Latest version (May 8th) of the resolution on Covid-19 response for WHA73

BY PRITI PATNAIK
POSTED ON MAY 11, 2020

Countries continue to negotiate today (May 11, 2020) on the language of the
COVID-19 resolution that will be considered at the World Health Assembly
next week.

Geneva Health Files has reviewed recent progress on the on-going
consultations. The analysis presented here is based on a draft of the
negotiated text as it stood on May 8th. This analysis builds on the
previous version of the discussions (May 6th) that I had previously blogged
about.

NEW CHANGES IN TEXT – There have been suggestions for more explicit
references to the WTO TRIPS Agreement (and flexibilities), the Doha
Declaration. Suggestions for stronger language for patent pooling
mechanisms. It continues to be unclear whether “global public good” will
continue to feature in the text. Extensive discussion on how and when an
independent evaluation into the international response to the pandemic will
be conducted; suggestions for deeper investigations to examine origins of
the virus. Also suggestions to include references to international
humanitarian law. Also some changes on freedom of expression, “in
accordance with national laws” in the context of misinformation.

As before, the text itself is not being shared, to protect country
positions on issues.

The text in blue is the Chair’s proposal from May 4th, based on which
negotiations have progressed over the last few days.  My analyses, as
before,  is indicated in red. (If you wish to read and compare the previous
iteration, read here.)

<SNIP>

Importantly:

One African nation has suggested the inclusion of the following:

PP Reaffirming the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), as amended, and
also reaffirming the 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and
Public Health, which recognizes that intellectual property rights should be
interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of the right of Member
States to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to
medicines for all, and notes the need for appropriate incentives in the
development of new health products;

Or, alternatively: Consider, as necessary, adoption of national legal
mechanisms for the use of the flexibilities contained in the Agreement on
Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in order to promote
access to pharmaceutical products, vaccines, personal protective equipment,
diagnostics, medical devices and other health technologies required for the
prevention, diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.

OP4 Calls for equitable access to and fair distribution to all countries
including through using fully the provisions of international treaties, of
personal protective equipment and the quality, safe, efficacious and
affordable medical technologies, commodities and materials required in the
response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular quality, safe, efficacious
and affordable medicines and vaccines, and the urgent removal of obstacles
thereto;

OP4Alt Calls for equitable access to and fair distribution to all
countries, including through using fully the provisions of international
treaties of personal protective equipment and the quality, safe,
efficacious and affordable medical supplies, devices and other
technologies, commodities and materials, including diagnostics and other
laboratory materials, required in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
and in particular of quality, safe, efficacious and affordable medicines
and vaccines, and the urgent removal of obstacles thereto;

It is suggested that access here is qualified to include “unconditional”,
“timely”.

Instead of “using fully the provisions of international treaties…”, it has
evolved to … “consistent with the provisions and flexibilities of relevant
international treaties.”

In addition, suggestion for “products including their precursors required
in the response to the Covid 19 pandemic as a global priority, and the
urgent removal of arbitrary and unjustified obstacles thereto, and
unilateral coercive measures and sanctions”

There is a suggestion for a new para, from one of the “early” countries,
most affected by the pandemic:

*Urges all States to cease adopting or implementing any unilateral measures
not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law,
the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles governing
peaceful relations among States, which impede the full and timely access to
essential health products and technologies in the global fight against
COVID-19,*

OP5 Recognises population-wide vaccination against COVID-19 as a global
public good for health, which is necessary to prevent, contain, and stop
transmission in order to bring the pandemic to an end, once safe, quality,
efficacious and affordable vaccines are available;

There continues to be reservation against the inclusion of “global public
good” in this para. Another suggestion, as before, to footnote references
to the use of global public good in the context of COVID19.

Countries feel that a population-wide vaccine could be “instrumental” in
fighting the pandemic. A request has been made by one country, to include
reference to WHO validated scientific evidence.
<SNIP>


-- 
Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org


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