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

Gordon Campbell: On Abortion Law Reform (And The US Electoral College)

Abortion is such a polarising issue that politicians commonly avoid it like the plague. Co-incidentally though, New Zealand and New South Wales are both trying to reform their abortion laws right now, at exactly the same time – and in our case, that reform is happening for the first time in 42 years.
This week at Parliament, a special select committee began taking public submissions on the legislation being proposed. More>>

 

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>

ALSO:

'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels