Former heads of state, gov't call on President Biden to waive intellectual property rules for COVID-vaccines
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr. 15
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
Former heads of state and government including members of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Nobel laureates call on President Biden to waive intellectual property rules for COVID-vaccines, Trend reports.
More than 170 former heads of state and government and Nobel laureates, including former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown, former President of Latvia and Co-Chair of NGIC Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of France François Hollande and Nobel Laureates Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Professor Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, called on President Biden to support a waiver of intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines and pursue a people’s vaccine to end the pandemic in an open letter. A waiver of intellectual property rules would allow for a scale-up in manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world, overcoming artificial supply constraints.
The former world leaders and Nobel Laureates encourage President Biden to take the urgent action only he can and “let this moment be remembered in history as the time we chose to put the collective right to safety for all ahead of the commercial monopolies of the few.”
The letter specifically asks President Biden to support a proposal from the South African and Indian governments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily waive intellectual property rules related to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. At the current pace of vaccine production, most poor nations will be left waiting until at least 2024 to achieve mass COVID-19 immunization.
The letter was coordinated by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 organizations including Club de Madrid, the Yunus Centre, Oxfam, Health GAP, UNAIDS, Physicians for Human Rights, the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Global Justice Now, and Avaaz.