China, Ukraine and New Zealand support joint India and South Africa proposal on IPR waiver on Covid medical products
Their support comes after the United States agreed to text-based negotiations and joined co-promoters of the initiative to waive certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights ( TRIPS) for “the prevention, containment or treatment” of Covid-19.
However, Australia, the EU, UK, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Korea, Norway and Switzerland continued to express doubts about the convenience of entering into negotiations and called for more time to analyze at the informal TRIPS Council meeting on Monday.
The new proposal focuses on health products and technologies and sets the stage for discussions on details and is currently supported by 63 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Officials said questions had also been raised about how the proposed waiver would work, including revised aspects of duration and termination.
“There were issues related to the protection of intellectual property representing obstacles in the fight against the pandemic and on the use and improvement of the existing flexibilities of TRIPS such as compulsory licenses for vaccines”
said a Geneva-based official.
The proposal, which was first discussed in the TRIPS Council, will now be discussed at the formal TRIPS Council meeting on June 8-9 where the positions of the various WTO members will be defined.