Oxfam and PVA on WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance statement on a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

Release date: 18 July 2022.

Piotr Kolczyński, EU Health Policy & Advocacy Advisor to Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said:

I am representing Oxfam and this statement is supported by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of over 100 organizations worldwide.

The negotiations on the “pandemic treaty” offer a key opportunity to ensure equity in global public health. It is crucial for this process to be transparent and inclusive. And we welcome the opportunity to speak here today.

The strategic themes underpinning the working draft provide a sound basis for agreeing to a people-centred legal instrument with commitments and practical mechanisms for pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery based on human rights and equity principles.

To achieve this ambition, the negotiated instrument should protect and bind high-, middle-, and low-income countries in a fair and equitable manner. For example, obligations for rapid sharing of virus samples must go hand in hand with commitments for equal access to all countermeasures developed to tackle the disease.

The current and previous pandemics have demonstrated many shortcomings. Today we focus on medical countermeasures as an example of how the status quo needs to change. This would have to include at least the following three aspects:

(1) Member States should collaborate and fund the R&D of medical countermeasures in such a manner that they are global public goods. This should include prioritising hand over of expertise and manufacturing capacities to LMICs.

(2) Member States should commit to establishing mechanisms for sharing IP and technology transfer. Countries should also commit to waiving all IP barriers to relevant medical countermeasures and sharing of know-how, especially with respect to publicly funded innovations.

(3) Future financing instruments providing for sustainable funding, equitable distribution, and delivery of medical countermeasures and governance mechanisms should be co-created by all member States, be inclusive of civil society and transparent. Lessons should be learnt from the failures of the existing international funds and initiatives like the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

The principle of transparency should be reflected in all elements of the negotiated framework as a prerequisite for efficiency, accountability and trust.

Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance will continue to contribute to the INB sessions and future consultations.

/Ends

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