MSF and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the United Kingdom (UK) have written this open letter to the UK government to express concerns about the UK's position and approach to the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on the TRIPS Waiver of intellectual property (IP) on COVID medical tools.
The letter highlights the deeply flawed consultation process carried out by the UK government with UK CSOs on this issue, which did not constitute a meaningful consultation and lacked transparency and evidence. The proposed Waiver text currently under negotiation is seriously flawed, and the UK government's current approach is delaying and further diluting hope for a meaningful WTO agreement to waive COVID IP restrictions.
The letter calls again on the UK government to support the original TRIPS Waiver proposal. On the proposed text, the UK should urgently change paths and work with other governments to strengthen the text to get it as close as possible to the original Waiver proposal. The UK should also engage meaningfully with CSOs on this issue, including with greater transparency on their position, evidence for their claims, and adequate time allowed for the consultations.