At the beginning of the pandemic, many promises of “global public good” and “international solidarity” were made. Yet one year on, there is vast disparity in access to COVID-19 medical products between the high-income countries and low-middle-income countries. The high income countries are vaccinating about 25 times faster than those with the lowest income. The current system of production and supply is built on monopolies and control over technology and knowledge, and is failing to mobilise global production capacity. COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis and market-based approaches have been unsuccessful in effectively responding to the pandemic, including ensuring equitable and affordable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
The High-Level Dialogue will discuss the TRIPS Waiver proposal co-sponsored by 60 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), its motivations, status of discussions at the WTO and will unpack the opposition the proposal faces in the WTO from a handful of developed countries.