TRIPS and FTAs have adverse impact on access to drugs
Geneva, 3 Jun (Kanaga Raja) -- The WTO TRIPS Agreement and the TRIPS-plus provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have had an adverse impact on prices and availability of medicines, making it difficult for countries to comply with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Mr Anand Grover, said on Tuesday.
Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs today handed down judgment in the Biowatch case. Calling the case “a matter of great interest to the legal profession, the general public, and bodies concerned with public interest litigation”, Justice Sachs set aside the costs order awarded against Biowatch in favour of Monsanto and further awarded legal costs in the High Court hearings in favour of Biowatch and against the state. The bench of eleven judges was unanimous in its decision.
The International Labour Organization's ninety-eighth tripartite conference gets under way from 3-19 June amidst the latest ILO labour market projections showing a further increase in the number of unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment
As a result of increasing parliamentary and public concern, Bill C-23, the implementing legislation for the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), has been removed from the Canadian government's current legislative agenda.
Geneva heaves a sigh of relief. With Kamal Nath moved out of the Indian Commerce Ministry, the probability of concluding the contentious Doha Development Round of the WTO appears much brighter. Not that Kamal Nath was un-necessarily throwing spanners but his strong grip over the trade negotiations helped India to resist bullying and arm-twisting by the big boys of international trade.
The 32nd Congress of the International Metalworkers Federation held in Sweden this week resolved to mobilise metalworkers around the world for trade policies aimed at creating good jobs for all, promoting the fundamental workers’ rights and ensuring the right for all countries to development and to decent working and living conditions for their citizens.
The WTO General Council on Tuesday decided to convene its seventh Ministerial Conference in Geneva from 30 November to 2 December, nearly four years after its last conference in Hong Kong-China in 2005.
Many developing countries appear to have opposed and/or voiced concerns over a suggestion by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy for work along "two simultaneous tracks", one on modalities in agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) and another for commencing the scheduling exercise in both these areas.
World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy said May 26 that WTO members should consider a two-track approach towards concluding the troubled Doha Round of trade talks, an idea already floated by the United States for breaking the deadlock in the negotiations.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) commends the Department of Trade and Industry for opposing the current Doha texts on agriculture and industrial goods. In a statement released on 22 May 2009, it said that SA would not rush for an imperfect Doha deal.
Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said this Sunday, May 17, at the end of a two-day trip to Saudi Arabia, that he called on king Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the two countries to jointly seek reciprocal investment opportunities.
The historic free-trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union were launched to much fanfare this month, but reaching a deal between the 27-country economic bloc and the provincially dominated federation of Canada will not be a walk in the park.
Global climate change negotiations could become the battleground to hammer out a second clarification of intellectual property protection rules in the World Trade Organization to strengthen developing countries rights to use patented technology without authorization of rights holders, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a series of private and public
gatherings this week in Geneva stressed the need for trading partners to
consider new ideas to help break the current impasse in the Doha round
of global trade talks, but also said the U.S. would look to build on the
work done so far rather than scrapping it.
But I am acutely conscious that this focus on the traditional agenda, appropriate though it is, should not obscure the vital need to refresh the mandate of the WTO to deal with tomorrow's problems. Here, the interface between the international trade agenda and the climate change agenda looms larger than any single issue.