Efforts to Narrow the TRIPS Waiver Continue: "Eligibility Requirements" Still on The Table
Newsletter Edition #126 [The Friday Deep Dives]
The pandemic is still on, and a war has begun. In diplomacy, all borders are porous. The Russia-Ukraine geopolitical crisis will seep into other aspects of international policy-making. And Geneva is not immune to this. Like everyone else, we are watching this with concern.
Today we bring you a comprehensive analyses on the state of play in the TRIPS Waiver discussions and the factors outside of it, that are shaping these negotiations. Surely and slowly they are now entering a crucial phase. Read on.
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STORY OF THE WEEK
I. Efforts to Narrow the TRIPS Waiver Continue: "Eligibility Requirements" Still on The Table
The TRIPS waiver discussions at the WTO continue to teeter on the brink of a possible outcome that risks becoming too complicated to use.
More importantly, the discussions continue to be mired in narrow eligibility requirements that could potentially set conditions on the circumstances under which a waiver will be applicable. This essentially aims to achieve the lowest possible “impact” of a potential waiver, sources suggest. As we reported earlier, it is understood that these proposals continue to be pushed by the US and the EU.
No headway has been made on TRIPS Waiver discussions among key WTO members [the US, the EU, India and South Africa]. However, WTO members this week, agreed on a new date for the 12th Ministerial Conference during 13-17 June, 2022. This might prove to be an impetus to push the waiver discussions towards a resolution, observers say. This week deliberations continued at the TRIPS Council and at the General Council at WTO. (See details later in the story)
Our extensive reporting this week suggests that there is no immediate pressure on either “sides” to conclude these intractable negotiations. While this may be a strategy in itself, it is unclear how it will play out in the coming months.
The situation continues to be fluid, even as there is growing criticism to conclude and expand these “small group” discussions at the WTO.
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