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.
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.
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.
The global federation of nurses and carers unions, Global Nurses United (GNU), has appealed to the United Nations to conduct a mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to investigate the role of member states in blocking access to COVID19 vaccines for low-income countries.
November 30, 2021: Health, civil society organisations and unions are holding a vigil today at 12 pm outside the German Consulate to demand WTO rule changes to share vaccine knowledge and protect the world against new COVID threats.
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.
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.”
November 25: The company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline has formally begun legal proceedings to sue the US government for USD$15 billion through an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
November 24, 2021: Ahead of the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) next week, there are growing calls to lift intellectual property monopolies on vaccines and medical equipment.
November 22, 2021:An alliance of health, human rights and fair-trade organisations have today joined forces to rally today at 12 pm outside Pfizer Australia’s office at 151 Clarence St, Sydney. They are calling for the pharmaceuticals giant to put the Covid-19 vaccination needs of millions of people in low and lower-middle income countries ahead of its own revenue targets