It took almost two full years for the World Trade Organization to adopt a decision on its role in the Covid-19 pandemic. Once it finally did, it was not the decision the world needed: the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO did not result in a TRIPS waiver as asked by South Africa, India, and more than 100 developing countries.
Instead, it led to a bleak decision based on the wishes of the Global North and pharmaceutical companies. The document does nothing to lift intellectual property privileges from Covid-19 medical products, and limits itself to alleviate some of the barriers to export of vaccines which exist in the original TRIPS agreement. We bring more on the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference through a conversation with trade unionist George Poe Williams and legal advisor K.M. Gopakumar.
Read more in People’s Health Dispatch