WHO has recently supported India and South Africa. Between resistance from developed countries to India and South Africa's joint proposal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to assure universal access to coronavirus vaccines, World Health Organization (WHO) has asserted its provision for the proposal. “WHO welcomes South Africa’s and India’s recent proposal to WTO to ease international and intellectual property agreements on covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests in order to make the tools available to all who need them at an affordable cost," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted.
“Ending the pandemic starts with collaboration. WHO launched the covid-19 Technology Access Pool (CTAP) in May, inviting countries to share data, knowledge and intellectual property on vital, life-saving health products in the fight against the coronavirus," Ghebreyesus added. In a submission before the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Council of WTO on 2 October, India and South Africa requested WTO members for waiver of certain rules of TRIPS agreement to ensure that intellectual property rights such as patents, industrial designs, copyright and protection of undisclosed information do not create barriers to the timely access to affordable medical products.
The proposal was taken up for discussion at the TRIPS Council meeting on 15-16 October where developed countries including the US, European Union, Canada, Japan, UK, Australia and Switzerland rejected the proposal while African group countries, least developed countries, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal among other countries supported the proposal.