Statements and Press Releases

SC Statement to the WIPO Assemblies, 18 July 2022

Statement by the South Centre to the 2022 Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO

The South Centre is the intergovernmental organization of developing countries based in Geneva that supports developing countries’ efforts to build up a fair and inclusive multilateral system conducive to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are of the view that a central objective of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as part of the United Nations (UN) UN system should be to support the achievement of such goals through the promotion of a balanced international intellectual property (IP) system that reflects the interests of countries at different levels of economic and technological development, and in line with the WIPO Development Agenda.

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SC Statement – TRIPS waiver, 21 June 2022

TRIPS WAIVER: AN INSUFFICIENT MULTILATERAL RESPONSE. TRIPS-CONSISTENT NATIONAL ACTIONS ARE CALLED FOR

After almost 20 months from the submission of a “TRIPS waiver” request by India and South Africa, co-sponsored by 65 WTO member States (and supported by more than 100 WTO Members), a “Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement” (WT/MIN(22)/W/15/Rev.2) (‘the Decision’) was belatedly adopted by the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization on 17 June 2022.

This Decision does recognize that, as argued by developing countries and a large number of organizations and academics, intellectual property (IP) poses obstacles for the expansion of manufacturing capacity and timely access to health products and technologies to respond to COVID-19. The response to the pandemic required a rapid increase in the supply of countermeasures, while technology holders refused to share their technologies.

Not only developed countries successfully deviated the negotiations towards an outcome different from what was pursued by developing countries’ diplomats; the process for its adoption did not allow for the full and informed participation of the latter. The process leading to the Decision confirms the need to fully use the TRIPS flexibilities to address emergency and other situations where public health and other public interests are at stake, and to review the current international IP regime (including article 31bis of the TRIPS Agreement) to accelerate the sharing of technology, including know-how.

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STATEMENT – MEETING OF NAM HEALTH MINISTERS ON 75TH WHA, 20 May 2022

STATEMENT BY CARLOS M. CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MEETING OF THE NAM HEALTH MINISTERS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 75TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY, MAY 20, 2022

The South Centre has closely followed issues concerning access to medicines and the work of the WHO over the years. In the last couple of years, it has provided analyses and advice in connection with the COVID-19 crisis that has so severely affected the members of NAM.

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Statement – 23rd Session Working Group on the Right to Development, 15 – 20 May 2022

South Centre Statement  to the 23rd Session of the Working Group on the Right to Development

15 – 20 May 2022

Although we need to increase the international efforts to effectively realize the RtD, there seems to be insufficient engagement by many countries in the relevant intergovernmental processes. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to encourage and mobilize the participation of all countries in such processes. This Working Group is in a remarkable position to provide a platform for a participatory process that allows for the exchange of views and to build the necessary consensus to move forward.

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Statement to G24, 19 April 2022

STATEMENT BY DR. CARLOS CORREA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CENTRE, TO THE MINISTERS AND GOVERNORS MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF TWENTY-FOUR (G24)

April 2022, Virtual Meeting

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic, monetary tightening and increasing geopolitical tension have slowed down the global economic recovery. Projections for the 2022 global GDP growth have been slashed by about one percentage point by major international institutions. Together with inflation, especially spikes in food and fuel prices, and ongoing supply chain disruptions, uncertainty and fragility are looming over the two-speed world economic recovery. This has dimmed the hope to halt or reverse the trend of the rapidly increasing number of people falling into extreme poverty and suffering from hunger. While the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, the access to vaccination continues to be a major world concern. Developing countries’ supply and financing constraints for vaccines and critical medical products must be addressed.

In view of the multiple challenges faced by developing countries, the efforts of G24 in helping to coordinate the positions of developing countries on international monetary and development finance issues remain critical. The South Centre will continue to support those efforts.

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Members Statements – 22nd Council Meeting, 24 February 2022

Member States Statements at the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Representatives of the South Centre

The 22nd Meeting of the Council of Representatives of the South Centre took place virtually on 24 February. Member States expressed their views on the Centre’s research & analyses, meetings & webinars and policy & technical advice during the last year and its continued support to developing countries during the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a compilation of their statements.

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Statement – International conference on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development”, 26-27 March 2022

Climate change and trade: what policies for environmental goods and services?

Carlos Correa, Executive Director, South Centre

International conference on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development”

26-27 March 2022, Cairo, Egypt

While the importance of protecting the environment in the context of trade policies is firmly recognized, a key question is the extent to which trade disciplines aimed at protecting the environment can reach their intended or declared objectives and affect the trade interests and economic growth prospects of developing countries. Developing countries are also among the most affected by climate change and, hence, they have a major interest in international action to address it. However, the intensification of environmental threats faced by developing countries is not of their making, and advancing an agenda -with no evidence that it would lead to reduced emissions- is likely to just disadvantage the developing world which has the least responsibility historically for today’s climate-related damages. Given this history, as well as the tight external constraints imposed on their efforts to mobilize resources, developing countries cannot be expected to either successfully mitigate climate change or adapt to climate change, without significant financial and technological support. The South Centre has been assessing the policy implications that the initiatives on trade and environmental sustainability will have for the Global South.

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STATEMENT FOR CBD SBSTTA AGENDA ITEM ON BIODIVERSITY AND HEALTH, 17 March 2022

SOUTH CENTRE STATEMENT FOR CBD SBSTTA AGENDA ITEM ON BIODIVERSITY AND HEALTH

The draft Global Action Plan on Biodiversity and Health should support mainstreaming biodiversity and health linkages in national policies, strategies, programmes and accounts.

The South Centre suggests the following amendments to the draft Action Plan on Biodiversity and Health to ensure consistency with the objectives of the Convention and the Nagoya Protocol with regard to fair and equitable benefit-sharing…

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Statement of the Chair of the SC Board to the 22nd Council Meeting, 24 February 2022

STATEMENT OF THE CHAIPERSON OF THE SOUTH CENTRE BOARD, THABO MBEKI: COUNCIL OF MEMBER STATES, 24 FEBRUARY 2022

Once again the health, economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19 forces us to hold this meeting virtually. The deterioration of the situation in developing countries, to which I alluded two years ago, has only worsened. The gap between the countries of the North and the global South has widened. The lack of solidarity and selfishness of the countries of the North has led to the inequality in access to vaccines that we all know today.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we must completely rethink the value we place on the health sector. The billions needed to prevent and respond to health crises are nothing compared to the billions lost in business closures, job losses and economic paralysis that are the cost to the global economy of a health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The South Centre, in this second year of the pandemic, has continued to adapt and innovate in its ways to support and accompany developing countries in this challenging context.

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Statement – Regional Consultation on Sustainable Development & ICESCR, 8 February 2022

Oral Statement of the South Centre for the Regional Consultation on Sustainable Development and the ICESCR

Geneva, 8 February 2022

The following statement is delivered by the South Centre during the consultation convened by the Drafting Group of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for the development of a General Comment on Sustainable Development and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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