UNCTAD Forum: Local Drug Manufacturing A Key To Universal Health Coverage

Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS at UNCTAD Investment Forum

Local production of medicines in developing countries is key to advancing universal health coverage, but other factors need to be considered, such as the involvement of all stakeholders and policy coherence in governments, according to speakers attending the World Investment Forum this week. Several speakers called for a paradigm shift in global health.

“Trade Matters” For BRICS In Africa, So Does Internet Connectivity

publicForumLogo 2014

Last week’s World Trade Organization Public Forum hosted dozens of panels on the general theme of “why trade matters.” A panel focusing on the role of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) found that the new BRICS Development Bank could foster infrastructure development in Africa, while another panel said that removing barriers to internet connectivity is key to economic growth.

Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.

Global Value Chains In Africa: Set Of Preconditions Needed To Be Profitable, Panel Says

Susan Bingi address WTO Public Forum

At the World Trade Organization Public Forum last week, a panel explored opportunities for Africa in global and regional value chains. A certain level of development needs to be achieved so that countries can benefit from global value chains, speakers said.

At WTO, Experts Discuss Solutions To Drugs Innovation Crisis; IP Not In The List

Panellists at UAEM event

The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) organised a panel at the World Trade Organization Public Forum this week on new approaches in university management of intellectual property. The panel gathered a diverse panel of experts giving their take on possible solutions to less innovation and higher prices of drugs, and the role of publicly-funded research.

WTO Director General Wants To Put Human Dimension In WTO Work

Roberto Azevêdo WTO Public Forum - Photo credit WTO

The World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo opened the 2014 WTO Public Forum by saying trade is essential but the international trade system should provide a seat for everyone at the table. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also insisted on the importance of a development-oriented international trade system.

US-India Cooperation Raises Hopes, Concerns

India PM Modi at US-India Business Council

In this week’s highly anticipated visit to the United States by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of joint statements have been issued, raising hope for greater cooperation between the two countries, and some concern about the same.

Lisbon Agreement Members To Move Ahead With Treaty Talks Despite Resistance

WIPO - Catherine Saez (7)

The revision of a World Intellectual Property Organization agreement to include geographical indications, raising their status, was challenged in vain by some countries in the past week. In addition, this week’s WIPO General Assembly has been working intensively on a range of other issues.

WTO: Antigua Has New Idea For Gambling Case; Cuba Rails Against US Trademark

Gambling Flickr Alan Cleaver

In a longstanding World Trade Organization dispute about measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services, Antigua and Barbuda has made a new proposal to the United States on a way to solve the issue of the US not complying with a WTO ruling it lost. And in a separate matter at the same WTO meeting last week, Cuba referred to the US failure to change a law barring a rum trademark in the context of railing against US policy of “economic suffocation” of the island nation.

Médecins Sans Frontières Warns About IP Inclusion In Asian FTA

The inclusion of intellectual property in the ongoing negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between 16 countries, most of them Asian, is raising concerns about “TRIPS-plus” measures that could jeopardise generic drugs production in India, according to Médecins Sans Frontières.