Call Issued For UN Intervention In Trans-Pacific Regional Trade Pact 28/03/2011 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 4 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As officials gather this week to continue negotiations for a trade agreement among countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, a multi-country set of non-governmental organisations and academics urged a United Nations-appointed official to intervene, on grounds that the trade deal will severely impact the public health of poor populations in those countries. At issue is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), on which negotiators are meeting this week, from 28 March to 2 April, in Singapore. This is the sixth round of negotiations. A 22 March letter of appeal was sent by NGOs and academics to Anand Grover, the Special Rapporteur for the United Nations on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. “We allege that the TPP negotiations on intellectual property norms, as presently being conducted, threaten and violate the right of hundreds of millions of persons to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health,” the letter said. The 20-page letter is available here [pdf]. The group consists of more than a dozen signers including Knowledge Ecology International, Health Action International, and a number of other groups and individual law professors from affected countries, from Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Malaysia and the United States. The basis for the complaint is a leaked draft of a US proposal for the IP chapter of the agreement, available here, from February. The group argues that the agreement: is wrongly being negotiated in secret; is being negotiated with far too much power given to one negotiating member (the United States); would lead parties to elevate patent protection too far beyond their commitments under the 1994 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and the terms of the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The document says that in the US alone, some 700 private sector representatives have privileged access to information about negotiations, while citizens are all but left out of the process. The group asserted that the United States is expected to propose, with possible support from Australia, a set of demands regarding the use of exclusive rights in pharmaceutical regulatory test data, linkage between patent status and drug registration and the extension of patent terms, that will exceed WTO obligations and run contrary to developing country interests. Other concerns are potential limitations on medical technologies, and apparent omissions related to “obligations to support funding for global AIDS programs, to make investments in priority medical research and development, or to share access to government funded research.” The letter of request for intervention details numerous ways the negotiation relates directly to UN agreements and principles, and lays out a variety of possible steps to address the concerns. The next planned rounds of TPP negotiations are: 20-24 June in Viet Nam, 6-11 September in San Francisco, and 24-28 October in Lima, Peru, according to the NGO coalition. Technologists Seek Copyright Changes in TPP Draft Separately, groups representing a digital rights and high-tech perspective issued a call for changes to the copyright language in the TPP draft. The call came from Public Knowledge, the Special Libraries Association and Internet NZ. “This discussion draft calls for protection of copyright owners as well as preservation and promotion of copyright limitations and exceptions that allow companies to innovate and democratic discourse to thrive,” Rashmi Rangnath, staff attorney for Public Knowledge, said in a blog post. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."Call Issued For UN Intervention In Trans-Pacific Regional Trade Pact" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.