Press Advisory: Online Global Rally - WTO: TRIPS Waiver for COVID-19 Vaccines Now!
WTO: DON’T TRADE WITH OUR LIVES
ONLINE GLOBAL RALLY FOR A TRIPS WAIVER
WHAT: ESCR-Net, Movement Law Lab, and The People’s Vaccine Alliance and Médecins sans frontières /Doctors Without Borders co-sponsor the Online Global Rally to put pressure on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and States who refuse to pass a meaningful vaccine waiver on life-saving COVID-19 vaccines and therapies. The rally will amplify the voices of communities in Colombia, Palestine, South Africa, India, Thailand, Honduras, Kenya, Pakistan, Uganda, Mexico, and elsewhere – who have been most affected by the unequal distribution of vaccines. Human rights defenders and public health advocates also will lay out the advocacy and legal actions that several international coalitions are undertaking against wealthy countries who are undermining our fundamental right to health by opposing the waiver.
WHY: Member-states of the WTO will meet on 30 Nov to 3 Dec to discuss a proposal to waive the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) in order to allow the sharing of vaccine technology and know-how. This proposal was proposed by South Africa and India and is supported by over 100 countries. The European Union, Germany, UK, Norway, Canada and Switzerland are blocking the proposal, all in service of the corporate interest of pharmaceutical corporations such as Pfizer, who have lobbied and historically influenced government decision-making at the WTO. During a global health crisis, a handful of pharmaceutical companies are blocking the life-saving waiver and are lobbying Governments, resulting in a discriminatory global distribution – 73% of all COVID-19 vaccine doses have gone to just 10 countries. Rich countries have administered 61 times more doses per capita than poorer countries and delivered only 14% of the 1.8 billion doses promised to poor countries. Just 5.8% of Africans have been vaccinated.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 23rd from 9:00-11:00am ET (find your timezone here) The rally will have simultaneous interpretation in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.
WHO: Speakers include (see below the program for the complete line-up): Ana Caistor Arendar - Progressive International, Issam Younis - Al-Mezan (Palestine), Leena Menghaney - MSF Doctors Without Borders, Maaza Seyoum - People's Vaccine Alliance /African Alliance, Mandivavarira Mudarikwa - Women's Legal Centre (South Africa) Miriam Miranda OFRANEH (Honduras).
Q&A: speakers will take questions from the press in the last 15 minutes of the event
- Several international coalitions have undertaken legal actions against countries blocking the waiver. Information can be found here:
- Comic on corporate capture of our Health Care Systems
Esther de la Rosa - Communications Coordinator