Oxford, 6 May 2022 (TDI): Max Lawson, Head of Inequality Policy for Oxfam and co-chair of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, responded to the WTO waiver ‘outcome’, the subject of which was report was the negotiations over a waiver of Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS)
The Head of Inequality Policy for Oxfam and co-chair of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, Max Lawson said,
“This text is a recognition that WTO rules on intellectual property are a clear barrier to ensuring people get the vaccines, tests, and treatments they need. It is a tragedy that it has taken almost two years and millions of deaths to reach this point and a travesty that the action proposed today falls well short of what is needed.”
“The text as it stands continues to place pharmaceutical corporate interests over the needs of global health. It adds more unnecessary barriers than existed before negotiations began and failure to act now on treatments and tests is inexcusable.”
“This is not the TRIPS waiver supported by over 100 governments. It is not endorsed by any member other than the EU. And it is utterly insufficient for a pandemic that has killed an estimated 20 million people and rising.”
“WTO member states must urgently deliver a genuine intellectual property waiver that will turn the tide on global vaccine, test, and treatment inequality and make a difference to controlling this virus. If WTO negotiations cannot deliver that after two years of a deadly pandemic, then we must admit that the institution is not fit for purpose.”
Oxfam is a worldwide movement of people trying to fight inequality in order to exterminate impoverishment and injustice. It works across seventy countries, with thousands of partners and allies, to help communities create better lives for themselves, increase strength, and defend people’s livelihoods even in crisis situations.