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NZ civil society demands tougher stance on vaccine apartheid in UK trade negotiations

December 12, 2021: A coalition of thirty-three civil society organisations has written to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week, calling for NZ to use its bilateral trade negotiations with the United Kingdom and European Union to push for their support of a proposal to temporarily lift patent monopolies on vaccines at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Civil society groups ask ASEAN for RCEP human rights assessment as Filipino farmers say RCEP will undermine incomes

December 13, 2021: A coalition of regional and national civil society groups from the ten ASEAN countries  has asked the ASEAN secretariat to conduct a human rights assessment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement due to come into force in January 2022.

ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam

Civil society urges WTO to reach an urgent decision to waive monopolies on vaccines as online negotiations resume

December 8, 2021: One hundred and twenty-eight civil society groups from around the world last week sent an open letter to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation asking the WTO to resume urgent negotiations and decide to waive monopolies on COVID1-19 vaccines and related products.

WHO treaty for future pandemics may include sharing vaccine knowledge but will be too slow, and too late for COVID-19

December 7, 2021:The World Health Organisation treaty for handling future pandemics initiated last week should include waiving rules on vaccine monopolies and sharing knowledge to enable developing countries to produce their own vaccines, but the timetable is too slow and too late to save lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pfizer refuses to share vaccine knowledge as it announces $US36 billion in vaccine revenue

December 1, 2021: While rich countries like Australia are reaching 80% or more double vaccination rates, less than 5% of people in many low income countries have received COVID-19 vaccines. Millions are dying while new more infectious strains of the virus like Omicron develop, reports AFTINET Convenor Patricia Ranald in Michael West Media.

Media Release: Postponed WTO meeting reveals WTO failure: civil society groups urge Trade Minister to support the waiver on vaccine monopolies in on-line negotiations

November 29: An alliance of health, human rights, fair-trade and labour rights advocates have warned Trade Minister Dan Tehan that global efforts to lift COVID-19 vaccine patent monopolies would be undermined by a draft statement that Australia sponsored before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting which was due to meet this week.

New COVID strain postpones WTO meeting, confirms need to change WTO rules to share vaccine knowledge and increase global vaccine production

Media Release November 27, 2021: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting scheduled for November 30-December 3 has been postponed indefinitely because the new Omicron strain of the COVID-19 virus in African countries with low vaccination rates prevents many African and other delegations from attending the meeting.

Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today:

“The postponement of the WTO Ministerial Meeting exposes the shocking failure of the WTO for over a year to agree to share vaccine knowledge and increase global vaccine production to ensure access in low-income countries. This new strain of the virus is a direct result of vaccination rates below 5% in African low-income countries, where millions are dying and new strains are developing.”

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