On 12 June 2023, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered the following statement at the resumed fifth meeting and drafting group of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention and response. KEI’s statement focused on the Bureau text.
- Paragraph 5(a), could read, “waivers of or exceptions to”.
- Paragraph 5(b) is a very important proposal, but it should avoid a closed list of exceptions, and also, at a minimum, add a reference to Article 44 of the TRIPS Agreement, which was the most used exception during COVID 19, and it should also make reference to the “protect the public” exception in Article 39.
On Option 11.A, for Article 11, we have the following suggestions.
Knowledge Ecology International strongly supports Option 13.A, 2bis (d) on transparency. There should also be an obligation to implement to the full, the 2019 WHO resolution on transparency, WHA72.8,
The agreement should include an obligation to include in the terms and conditions of government funded R&D, a pathway to share intellectual property rights and know-how, when circumstances arise that trigger the need to do so. If not as a public good, then this can be done through a pooling mechanism, on a share and share alike basis.
The agreement should provide incentives to openly share not only pathogens and their sequences, but also the inventions, data, cell lines, and manufacturing know-how necessary to develop and make countermeasures.