Global Call to End Trade Negotiations During Pandemic
Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA has joined international aid and civil society organisations in calling for an end to trade negotiations during the Coronavirus pandemic to help low-income countries focus on the health emergency.
In a joint letter, nearly three hundred signatories called for members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to stop all trade negotiations during the COVID-19 outbreak and refocus on ensuring access to medical supplies and saving lives.
The letter also calls on the WTO to change the strict regulations on medical technology and patents to allow countries to respond to the crisis without paying exorbitant prices for medical supplies:
“The first and only priority for trade negotiators at this time should be to remove all obstacles, including intellectual property rules, in existing agreements that hinder timely and affordable access to medical supplies, such as lifesaving medicines, devices, diagnostics and vaccines, and the ability of governments to take whatever steps are necessary to address this crisis.”
During this health and economic crisis, governments must recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates a fundamental re-think of trade rules, including those that encourage monopolies and reduce affordable access to all forms of medical supplies, putting lives at risk
To read the full press release, click here.
Solidarity in Times of Crisis
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA is working with our partner organisations to support vulnerable workers, refugees, and migrant workers as they confront the health and economic crisis. You can support their efforts by contributing to the Coronavirus Solidarity Fund.