The following statement was read out at the 7th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) following the release of its proposal for the negotiating text of the Pandemic Agreement (commonly known as “pandemic accord”).
Thank you, Chair. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges member states to move beyond the health security narrative, and to uphold the right to health for all by pursuing a just, equitable, inclusive and accountable instrument for PPR.
INB’s proposal recognises the need for transparency in some critical areas and establishes governments’ responsibility to agree IP waivers, to use TRIPS flexibilities and to protect them in free trade and investment agreements.
However, several shortcomings need to be addressed in order to ensure equity.
First, the vulnerability of persons in humanitarian settings is not included in Article 1(i), which risks marginalising their needs in the stockpiling and allocation mechanisms in Article 13. Rules to establish and coordinate stockpiling at national, regional and global levels in Article 13 are also lacking.
Second, international legal and medical ethics standards need to be incorporated in Article 9 to protect patients’ rights and ensure biomedical research outcomes are shared with communities and developing countries that participate in and support clinical trials.
Third, we need to shift away from relying on voluntary measures for Parties on transparency, and transfer of technology and know-how. Explicit obligations to attach enforceable access conditions to publicly funded R&D, and to prohibit the transfer of product liabilities to purchasers, developing countries and humanitarian agencies are needed in Article 9 and 15, respectively.
We will share our analysis of selected provisions with the INB for consideration.
(A longer version of this statement is available here.)