UN Human Rights Council Approves Expert On Privacy In The Digital Age

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The UN Human Rights Council at its 28th session today in Geneva adopted a resolution that establishes a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on Privacy in the Digital Age. The Council also approved a resolution extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights for 3 years, and took note of the current rapporteur’s recent report raising concerns about the impact of copyright on human rights.

Open Source Model In Computers Should Be Applied To Genomic Data, Paper Says

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Genomic data should be made publicly available for the promotion of science as a global public good, a new paper argues. Two researchers suggest that a model inspired by the open-source computer software movement should be developed for plant breeding, animal breeding, and biomedicine.

IP-Watch Geneva IP Delegates List Updated

United Nations headquaters in Geneva

Intellectual Property Watch offers a partial list of the government delegates in Geneva with responsibility for intellectual property issues at the United Nations and World Trade Organization. The newly updated list is now available, exclusively for subscribers. [Note: IP-Watch content is free to most developing countries, just register online here]

UN Human Rights Council Debates Report Criticising Copyright

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Copyright might run counter to human rights, says a new report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. In the report, she provides a number of recommendations, including encouraging UN World Intellectual Property Organization members to support the adoption of international instruments on limitations and exceptions to copyright. The report is under consideration by the Human Rights Council and was debated extensively today.

Why The Request By Least Developed Countries For An Extension Of The Transitional Period For Granting And Enforcing Medicines Patents Needs To Be Supported

Ellen 't Hoen

Ellen ‘t Hoen writes: On 24 February 2015 Bangladesh on behalf of the 34 Least Developed Country members (LDCs) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) submitted a request for an extension of the transitional period under article 66.1 TRIPS with respect to pharmaceutical products until the country is no longer classified as LDC.[1] The original extension, set to expire on 1st January 2016, specifically removes the obligation for LDCs to comply with Section 5 (Patents) and Section 7 (Protection of Undisclosed Information) of Part II of TRIPS, including any obligation to enforce rights under these provisions.

It is a little known fact that since the adoption of the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, LDCs have frequently used the extension in day-to-day procurement of low cost generic medicines, in particular to access medicines needed for the treatment of HIV.

Ebola Crisis Has Severe Impact On AIDS Response In Sierra Leone, UNDP Report Says

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According to an internal report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund Partnership team, the Ebola epidemic has virtually halted national HIV efforts in Sierra Leone. In particular, patients stopped their treatments and the supply chain was disrupted.

New Quiet Initiative To Improve Drug Access In Middle-Income Countries, Change Country Classification System

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This week a confidential high-level expert meeting was convened in Geneva to start work on a potential change in the country classification used by global health actors to remedy the growing problem of access to medicines in middle-income countries.

In 21st Century No One Should Die For Lack Of Access To Medicines, Participants At UN Forum Say

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Last week’s 2015 Social Forum led by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for urgent action to facilitate access to medicines. In particular, the functioning of the intellectual property system was put into question. A number of recommendations were drawn by the secretariat after having been identified by participants.

TRIPS In Question During Social Forum Discussion On Access To Medicines

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Intellectual property rights are hindering access to medicines by maintaining monopolies and high prices, according to speakers at an annual United Nations forum on human rights last week. Flexibilities enshrined in the World Trade Organization intellectual property agreement are hampered by political and economical pressure, they said, and a new system should be devised for pharmaceutical products.

Geneva Climate Change Talks Conclude With Formal Negotiating Text

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Following seven days of negotiations, 194 nations convened in Geneva agreed the negotiating text that is the basis for the accord they hope to reach in Paris at the end of 2015, to come into effect in 2020.