WIPO SCP 33: Opening statement of Asia and Pacific Group stresses that WIPO “ought to give primacy to the issues of Public Health and Transfer of Technology”

On Monday, 6 December 2021, India delivered an opening statement on behalf of the Asia and Pacific Group (AGP). The Islamic Republic of Iran, Bangladesh, Singapore, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Korea are just a few of the members of this large grouping (China and Japan are not members).

In relation to Covid-19, the APG stated the following:

3. The APG believes that the work of this Committee is critical in creating a right balance between rights of patent holders and the larger public interest, especially in the areas of public health and technology transfer as their role in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. The discussions this Committee must take into account challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose.

6. The APG believes that discussions in WIPO ought to give primacy to the issues of Public Health and Transfer of Technology, especially in view of the current situation. Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose grave challenges. There is a need to take urgent actions on affordable, accessible and equitable medical counter measures.

7. We believe that discussions in WIPO should have a sharper focus on the interface between IP and public health and technology transfer, which are critical in responding to Covid-19, and on the need to improve accessibility and affordability of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics required to combat Covid-19.