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Australia’s TRIPS waiver support takes far too long

Australian Greens International Aid & Development spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has responded to reports that the Australian Government will support the waiver of intellectual property provisions on Covid-19 vaccines. The next meeting of the WTO TRIPS Council is on September 14.

Senator Faruqi said:

“This is a big relief, but it has taken far too long. This proposal came before the WTO almost a year ago and quickly amassed the support of dozens of countries committed to supporting vaccine production worldwide.

“Australia hindered global efforts while millions were infected with the virus across the Global South. It’s been completely indefensible behaviour.

“Now, after months of pressure from civil society and across the parliament, the government appears to have changed its tune.

“We now need a clear and unambiguous commitment from the government: not only that Australia will back the waiver but will endorse it wholeheartedly and work to get other hold-outs on the same page.

“Every month that goes by without WTO agreement on this matter, more people across poorer nations will unnecessarily get sick and die. It’s beyond time for global consensus and for Australia to pull its bloody weight.”

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