[Ip-health] The World Health Organization (WHO) endorses Costa Rica's proposal to create a global pool for rights in COVID-19 related technologies

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon Apr 6 10:41:59 PDT 2020

On 6 April 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization
(WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, delivered his opening remarks at the
media briefing on COVID-19. In his historic speech, the Director-General
endorsed the Costa Rican proposal to create a global pool for rights in
COVID-19 related technologies.

The full text of the Director-General's speech can be found here:

The portion of his speech endorsing the Costa Rican proposal can be found


The viral genome was mapped in early January and shared globally, which
enabled tests to be developed and vaccine research to start.

More than 70 countries have joined WHO's Solidarity Trial to accelerate the
search for an effective treatment. And about 20 institutions and companies
are racing to develop a vaccine.

WHO is committed to ensuring that as medicines and vaccines are developed,
they are shared equitably with all countries and people.

I want to thank the Medicines Patent Pool and UNITAID for the initiative
they announced last Friday to include medicines and diagnostics for
COVID-19 in their licensing pool.

I also want to thank the President of Costa Rica, President Carlos
Alvarado, and the Health Minister, Daniel Salas, for their proposal to
create a pool of rights to tests, medicines and vaccines, with free access
or licensing on reasonable and affordable terms for all countries. Muchas
gracias, Mr President.

I support this proposal, and we are working with Costa Rica to finalize the

Poorer countries and fragile economies stand to face the biggest shock from
this pandemic, and leaving anyone unprotected will only prolong the health
crisis and harm economies more.

I call on all countries, companies and research institutions to support
open data, open science and open collaboration so that all people can enjoy
the benefits of science and research.

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

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