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WHO, WIPO, WTO maps out further collaboration to tackle COVID-19 pandemic

Bukola Afeni
 The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have come together to form synergy to enhance their support to members battling COVID-19.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Daren Tang and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,  the head of the agency stated this during a meeting which was held recently.
They said the partnership is meant to bring up series of workshops to augment the flow of information on the pandemic, implement a joint platform for tripartite technical assistance to members and governments relating to their needs for medical technologies.
 “The group are willing and ready to work hand in hand to sort out the pandemic and also work towards solving the challenges in public health.
The  Directors General of WHO, WIPO and the WTO met in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity to map out further collaboration to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and the pressing global challenges at the intersection of public health, intellectual property and trade.
 “Acutely conscious of our shared responsibility to communities across the world as they confront a health crisis of unprecedented severity and scale, we pledged to bring the full extent of the expertise and resources of our respective institutions to bear in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and improving the health and well-being of all people, everywhere around the globe. “
“We underscored our commitment to universal, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other health technologies.  A commitment anchored in the understanding that this is an urgent moral imperative in need of immediate practical action.”
The bodies said that there will be organised practical, capacity-building workshops to enhance the flow of updated information on current developments during the pandemic.
“In this spirit, we agreed to build further on our long-standing commitment to WHO-WIPO-WTO Trilateral Cooperation, which aims to support and assist all countries as they seek to assess and implement sustainable and integrated solutions to public health challenges.  Within this existing cooperative framework, we agreed to enhance and focus our support in the context of the pandemic through two specific initiatives.”.
“The three agencies will collaborate on the organization of practical, capacity-building workshops to enhance the flow of updated information on current developments in the pandemic and responses to achieve equitable access to COVID-19 health technologies. The workshop aims to strengthen the capacity of policymakers and experts in member governments to address the pandemic accordingly.”
“The first workshop in the series will be a workshop on technology transfer and licensing, scheduled for September. The workshop will help our members update their knowledge and understanding of how intellectual property, know-how and technology transfer work in actuality. This would be in the context of medical technologies and related products and services. This first workshop will be followed by others on related practical themes.”
The three agencies said it will implement a joint platform for tripartite technical assistance to countries relating to their needs for COVID-19 medical technologies, providing a one-stop-shop that will make available the full range of expertise on access, IP and trade matters provided by the organizations, and other partners, in a coordinated and systematic manner.
“The initiatives will also be underpinned by joint efforts to collect and make accessible robust and inclusive data needed to guide an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This will include a periodical update of the overview of COVID 19-related measures that are mapped in a key resource for trilateral cooperation”.

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