WTO—statement urging equitable access to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

WTO—statement urging equitable access to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has published a statement on equitable access to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines worldwide, following a General Council Meeting held on 5 May 2021. The meeting established that WTO members must respond urgently to the need of a solution to enable equitable access, with Director-General (DG), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, describing it as the ‘moral and economic issue of our time.’ Members also agreed to allow the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to continue considerations of proposals to temporarily waive certain TRIPS obligations as a result of the pandemic.

A status report submitted by chair of the TRIPS Council Ambassador, Dagfinn Sørli of Norway, was approved by members, indicating the lack of consensus on the issue and emphasising a common goal to provide access to ‘high-quality, safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines and medicines for all.’

In her remarks at the meeting, DG Okonjo-Iweala, said: ‘We need to have a sense of urgency on how we approach this issue of response to COVID-19 because the world is watching. Vaccine policy is economic policy because the global economic recovery cannot be sustained unless we find a way to get equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.’

DG Okonjo-Iweala's full statement is available here.

Source: DG Okonjo-Iweala underlines urgent need to address equitable access to vaccines

Related Articles:
Latest Articles: