Despite attempts to forge a “new partnership”, the sixth EU-African Union summit, which ended in Brussels on Friday, did not resolve the issue. Two blocks disagree on patent issuance Vaccine against Covid-19.
President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, arguing that this initiative is critical to ensuring equitable access to injections on the African continent.As far as Europeans are concerned, they insist on alternative solutions such as donations or technology transfer.
“Governments that are really serious about vaccine access should make sure we approve ‘patent liberalization,’ not Hidden behind intellectual property or producer profitability”, Ramaphosa said at the summit. “We are facing a global pandemic that will be with us for a long time, and all we ask for is a temporary release. Allow countries that do not have easy access to vaccines to do soadded.
“We’re talking about the lives of hundreds of millions of people, rather than the profitability of a few companies. It is unacceptable that Africa always comes last when it comes to access to medicines. While we accept donations, they are not a sustainable mechanism‘ said Ramaphosa.
South Africa and India were the first to introduce in October 2020, The Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) has put forward a proposal to issue a patent on a Covid vaccine.Specifically, the two countries claim to have launched Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which will force laboratories to share the intellectual property and know-how needed to fight the coronavirus.
The promise of spring?
During his tenure as President of the United States, Joe Biden, has been supporting this initiative and the EU continues to oppose it.Brussels believes that the issuance of the patent will not solve the problem of vaccine shortages in the short term, because it also requires production capacity, and Will end incentives for laboratory research and discovery of new injectables.
The only agreement between the EU and the African Union is to continue negotiations. Both sides set themselves the goal of finding a solution “in the spring.” “Importantly, we had very good, vigorous and constructive discussions on TRIPS exemptions and compulsory licenses. We have a common goal. We have different ways to achieve it. There has to be a path between the two paths. bridge,” he said. The chairman of the committee said, Ursula Von der Leyen.
“What Africans need is fair and equitable access to vaccines. “Charity Model” Failed. Europe has thrown away more vaccines this year than it donated to African countries,” humanitarian organization Oxfam said in a statement.
“replace Stand with Big Pharma, who made billions on vaccines, the EU must stop wasting time, support full (patent) release and insist on vaccine technology sharing. This is the only way to ensure vaccines, testing and treatment are available to everyone around the world and end this pandemic,” Oxfam said.
For now, European leaders have only reaffirmed their pledge to donate at least 450 million vaccine doses to African countries by the summer. In addition, Brussels supports the launch of a manufacturing plant there using messenger RNA technology. South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia They will be the first six countries to acquire the technology to produce such vaccines, as announced during the summit.
The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) also criticized in Brussels that “more than 80% of Africa’s population has not received a dose of the new crown vaccine”, Tedros“Much of this inequality is due to the concentration of global vaccine production in a few high-income countries,” he said.
infrastructure and immigration
During summit with African Union, European leaders pledge to invest in coming years Up to 150 billion euros in infrastructure development on the African continent. a seek Offset the influence China gained through the New Silk Road (The Belt and Road Initiative). “if you move efficientlyit will be a considerable step forward and a bridge between our two continents,” said Senegalese President Macky Sall.
However, of the $150 billion announced, Community budget for 2021-2027 only considers $36.8 billion. Brussels intends to secure the remaining funds through donations from member states, credits from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and public guarantees to attract private investment.
European and African leaders also discussed migration flows and pledged to fight illegal immigration and human trafficking. In this regard, the Chairman of the Government, Pedro Sanchezcalling for “the continued advancement of a comprehensive immigration policy that considers all aspects and promotes safe, orderly and regular immigration, thereby ending the mafia of human trafficking”.