WTO urges removal of obstacles to producing more vaccines

The World Trade Organization (WTO) urged related companies to remove obstacles to producing more Covid-19 vaccines.

Overall, WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called for follow-up action after a WTO event on vaccine equity.

Okonjo-Iweala called on WTO Members, vaccine manufacturers and international organizations to act to address trade barriers to increased production of Cobvid-19 vaccines in order to save lives, advance the end of the pandemic and accelerate the global economic recovery.

At the end of the meeting organized by the WTO entitled «COVID-19 and vaccine equity: what can the WTO contribute?», The Director-General said that the statements of government ministers, vaccine manufacturers, representatives of civil society and leaders of international organizations had identified problems and identified possible solutions.

«This is a problem of the commons of humanity, and we have to solve it together,» she said.

Okonjo-Iweala expressed the hope that the meeting, which was attended by approximately 50 speakers, would serve as the basis for an ongoing dialogue aimed at achieving results regarding increased volumes of vaccine production in the short term and investments in the long term. in vaccine production, and to improve the contribution of the trading system to pandemic preparedness.


The large number of trade-related concerns expressed during the meeting, from the importance of open cross-border trade for access to vaccine raw materials and supplies to differences over the role of intellectual property protection indicate “that the WTO must play a central role in responding to this crisis, ”said Okonjo-Iweala.

The Director General stated that she hoped that the ideas raised during the meeting «contribute to a convergence in the Council for TRIPS on the achievement of significant results that contribute to the objectives we share.»

Identifying the concrete follow-up measures that emerged from the discussion, she said that WTO members could continue to ease export restrictions and supply chain-related obstacles and work to facilitate logistics and customs procedures.

Vaccine manufacturers, for their part, could work to upgrade existing production capacity, where it exists, by providing know-how and technology transfer, and take steps to make longer-term investments.


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