Directors General of WHO, WIPO and the WTO agree on intensified cooperation in support of access to medical technologies worldwide to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic
WHO, WIPO, WTO
First, our three agencies will collaborate on the organization of practical, capacity-building workshops to enhance the flow of updated information on current developments in the pandemic and responses to achieve equitable access to COVID-19 health technologies. The aim of these workshops is to strengthen the capacity of policymakers and experts in member governments to address the pandemic accordingly. The first workshop in the series will be a workshop on technology transfer and licensing, scheduled for September. The workshop will help our members update their knowledge and understanding of how intellectual property, know-how and technology transfer work in actuality. This would be in the context of medical technologies and related products and services. This first workshop will be followed by others on related practical themes.
Secondly, we will implement a joint platform for tripartite technical assistance to countries relating to their needs for COVID-19 medical technologies, providing a one-stop shop that will make available the full range of expertise on access, IP and trade matters provided by our organizations, and other partners, in a coordinated and systematic manner. The platform for technical assistance will, in particular,
- support countries to assess and prioritize unmet needs for COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and related technologies, and
- provide timely and tailored technical assistance in making full use of all available options to access vaccines, medicines and technologies, including through coordination between members facing similar challenges to facilitate collective responses.
These initiatives will also be underpinned by our joint efforts to collect and make accessible robust and inclusive data needed to guide an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include a periodical update of the overview of COVID 19-related measures that are mapped in a key resource for trilateral cooperation, the WHO-WIPO-WTO publication ‘Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation: Intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade’, published in 2020.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have, since 2009, stepped up their cooperation and practical coordination on issues relating to public health, IP and trade. This trilateral cooperation is intended to enhance the empirical and factual information basis for policy makers and to support them in addressing public health in relation to IP and trade. It has entailed a series of practical technical assistance activities, at the national, regional and mulitilateral levels, a series of high-level Policy Symposia intended to track emerging issues and inform future policy, and the trilateral study, which provides a comprehensive overview of the full array of policy issues with bearing on innovation and access to medical technologies.