Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

WTO reaches deal on affordable access

7 December 2005

WTO reaches deal on affordable access to medicines

News that World Trade Organisation members have agreed a permanent solution to enable developing countries to access affordable medicines to combat serious public health problems such as AIDS and malaria was welcome, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton applauded the efforts of developing countries, in particular the African Members, as well as key developed Members the United States and EU, in reaching agreement overnight in Geneva on an amendment to the WTO rules.

He said the issue was a critical one for developing countries that cannot afford to purchase patented drugs.

"New Zealand has strongly supported efforts to reach a permanent solution.

"This is also a welcome boost for the WTO negotiations more generally. Ahead of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong next week, the Geneva decision sends a strong message of commitment to the development objectives of this trade round."

WTO Members have reached agreement on a legal amendment to WTO rules in order to implement a political decision taken in August 2003.

Mr Sutton said this was the first amendment to a WTO agreement since the agreements came into force in 1995.

"It shows that 148 Members are capable of reaching agreement on difficult issues. As well as offering legal certainty, a consensus decision carries special moral force.



"This is precisely the spirit we need to take to Hong Kong."

Background

The issue of access to medicines is a development issue of high political importance to developing countries. In August 2003, during the lead-up to the Cancun Ministerial, WTO Members granted a waiver from TRIPS rules that enables developing countries, faced with serious public health problems such as AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other epidemics, to import generic copies of patented drugs produced under compulsory licence in another country.

Until now, Members have not converted this waiver into a permanent amendment to the TRIPS Agreement. Consultations have occurred over recent weeks between three key parties - the US, the EC and the African Group of Members.

New Zealand has given its full support to this process. We have made technical contributions to the debate and stated our full commitment to efforts to find a compromise.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Countries, Tech Companies Sign Up: Christchurch Call To Eliminate Extremist Online Content

French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have led a group of world leaders, tech companies and organisations to adopt a pledge that seeks to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online to stop the internet being used as a tool for terrorists. More>>

Research Report: Digital Threats To Democracy
What evidence do we have as to the interventions and solutions that might mitigate against the biggest threats posed to our democracy by digital media, without losing the best of the opportunities that the internet offers? More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Christchurch Call
The zigzagging nature of Christchurch Call To Action's content (“steps to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online” on one hand… and “must be consistent with a free, open and secure Internet, without compromising human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression” on the other) reflects the genuine tension that exists on this subject. More>>

 
 

Getting Moving: Wellington Transport To Get $6.4b Overhaul

A new $6.4bn transport project aiming to free up traffic in Wellington CBD will combine a mass transit system with an improved bus network, the government says. More>>

ALSO:

Privacy Commission Report: MSD Systematically Misused Fraud Investigation Powers

An Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) inquiry has found the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) systematically misused its investigatory powers while pursuing benefit fraud, unjustifiably intruding on the privacy of many beneficiaries. More>>

ALSO:

Consultation Doc: Safety Focus In Improved Drug Driver Testing

Improving the safety of all road users is the focus of a new public consultation document on the issue of drug driver testing. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Panel To Debrief Police Response To Terror Attacks

The panel members are former Australian Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas, former Solicitor General Mike Heron QC, and Director, Professional and Executive Development, Victoria University of Wellington Jeff Ashford. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The (Lack Of) End Game For The Teachers Strike

Currently, the education sector looks like one of those games of American football where its hard to keep your eye on where the ball is, and where ministerial quarterback Chris Hipkins is trying to throw it... More>>

ALSO:

Other School Strikes:

NCEA Changes:

Musical Chairs: Deputy PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters held Monday's post-cabinet press conference, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Paris to chair the 'Christchurch Call' talks on terrorism and extremism and social media... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels