Call for Abstracts – 20 years of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health
Deadline: 20 October 2021
The WTO Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health (‘Doha Declaration’) represented a groundbreaking moment in the history of intellectual property (IP) international policy, recognizing that Member States should not be prevented from taking measures to protect public health, reaffirming the right to use the so-called TRIPS flexibilities to that aim, such as compulsory licensing and parallel imports. The impact of IP protection on public health has continued to be at the forefront of debate to ensure equitable and affordable access to medicines and other medical products globally, and especially in the global South. The Covid-19 pandemic brought new challenges. Solutions are being discussed beyond use of TRIPS flexibilities, such as a temporary waiver to TRIPS during the pandemic.
At the 20th anniversary of the WTO Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, the South Centre opens a call for abstracts for new research in the field of IP and public health. The selected abstracts will be invited to write full papers, which will be presented at an international event in 2022 organized by the South Centre to commemorate such date and subsequent publication by the South Centre as open access. A small honorarium will also be offered for completed full papers that meet the South Centre standards of publication.
Spain’s submission at the EU’s Porto Social Summit
Spain’s submission at the European Union’s Porto Social Summit proposing to adapt global rules on intellectual property, in particular the flexibilities in the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), to fight global pandemics is welcome.
American University Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property
The American Network on the Right to Research in International Copyright is calling for papers relevant to the development of global norms on copyright policy in its application to research. Text and data mining research, for example, is contributing insights to respond to urgent social problems, from combatting COVID to monitoring hate speech and disinformation on social media. Other technologies make it possible to access the materials of libraries, archives and museums from afar – an especially necessary activity during the COVID pandemic. But these and other research activities may require reproduction and sharing of copyright protected works, including across borders. There is a lack of global norms for such activities, which may contribute to uncertainty and apprehension, inhibiting research projects and collaborations. The problem of access to copyrighted works through libraries and educational institutions is especially serious in the South.
The South Centre is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in the year 2020. The Centre was established by an Intergovernmental Agreement which came into force on 31 July 1995. Its predecessor, the South Commission, recognized the need to strengthen South-South cooperation in international affairs. In its report The Challenge to the South, the South Commission emphasized the need for countries of the South to work together at the global level. That is why the Commission recommended the creation of a South organization charged with undertaking this challenge. The South Centre, an independent intergovernmental think-tank of developing countries, was then created to analyze the development problems of the developing countries, encourage them to value and share their common experience and provide intellectual and policy support for them to act collectively and individually, particularly at the international level.
Global Forum on Intellectual Property, Access to Medicines and Innovation*
A Global Forum on Intellectual Property, Access to Medicines and Innovation will be held on 9-10 December 2019 in Munich, Germany. This Global Forum is a joint effort of the South Centre and the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. The Global Forum will bring together policy makers and leading academic figures to examine how intellectual property policy and law are evolving to incorporate public health considerations. Discussions will centre on recent national experiences and policy choices available to governments. The Forum will serve to support evidence-based policy making and building intellectual property regimes in developing countries that are supportive of the goals of public health, in particular to promote access to health for all.
The South Centre is pleased to announce that it is scaling up its services to developing country governments in the area of intellectual property rights and public health, thanks to the support of Unitaid. The project “Expanding the use of TRIPS flexibilities to promote affordable access to medicines” will allow the South Centre to roll out a number of training activities at regional and national level and a global advisory service on the use of TRIPS flexibilities for public health.