They have once again failed to give priority to human beings, to life, over the economic interests of the “lords of the world” who, over the last 50 years, have done nothing but steal and destroy life on Earth.
Friday evening, 16 October, members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rejected the proposal by India, South Africa, Kenya and Eswatini to suspend certain provisions of the TRIPS Treaties – which regulate intellectual property rights globally – concerning patents for tests, medical treatments and vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal did not seek to abolish the patent regime, but only to suspend its application for the period necessary to allow the world’s population to have access to the Covid-19 therapy on an equal footing and in a just manner.
This decision is unacceptable. The big private global pharmaceutical companies and the global financial markets have won. There is no need to shout scandal because the scandal is the system itself. Based on the principles of neo-liberal capitalist society, it gives the WTO, the international organisation competent in the field of trade, independent from the UN, greater decision-making power in health matters than that attributed to the WHO (World Health Organisation), thus legalising the primacy of private commercial and financial imperatives over the requirements and universal human rights to health. Patents matter more than health.
We believe, on this day which also “celebrates” the fight against poverty, that it is time for humanity to fight for its liberation/independence from the domination of the current “lords of the world”.
Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth
Brussels 17 October 2020