On Wednesday, 24 May 2023, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered a statement at the 76th World Health Assembly on Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies.
- WHO member states should make negotiations at the INB on a pandemic instrument more transparent, and periodically publish the negotiating texts so the public can provide timely informed feedback.
- With regard to substance, we urge negotiators to reach consensus on intellectual property, technology transfer, transparency and benefit sharing.
- On intellectual property, countries can follow the approach in the successful WIPO Marrakesh Treaty for the Blind: namely to mandate members use exceptions in existing intellectual property agreements to achieve treaty objectives.
On technology transfer, terms and conditions in government funded R&D can include an agreement to pool rights in inventions, data and know-how, if not with everyone everywhere, at least among the subset of members who agree to share and share alike in a pooling mechanism.
- The transparency provisions should include measures to implement the 2019 WHO resolution on transparency, WHA72.8, including transparency of actual R&D costs and subsidies, among other things.
We would like to see WHO member states embrace an open source dividend mechanism, designed to create incentives for the sharing of pathogens, sequences, inventions, data, cell lines and know-how. This can be implemented as an obligation to share percentages of sales revenue on certain products with the individuals and entities that have open sourced inputs that were useful in the development of the products