NGOs: Say No to Poisonous Proposals

CPTech, MSF, Oxfam and the Third World Network
November 25, 2002

Developing countries should walk away from the negotiations on exports of h ealth care products (paragraph 6), if the proposed "solution" (as reflected in the draft of November 24, 2002) is riddled with limitations and burdens , creates new norms for WTO intrusions into national sovereignty, and reduc es the stature and importance of the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public H ealth.

NGOs believe that the US, EU, Canada, Switzerland and Japan have escalated their efforts to make the solution more restrictive, more burdensome, and more problematic in terms of precedent, and have demonstrated bad faith in addressing the problems set out in paragraph 6. In other words, the solution is not going to work. The system proposed by the rich countries is worse than the status quo.

On some issues, such as the scope of diseases, there can be no compromise. How can any WTO member justify the exclusion of a particular disease from the solution? Either every country has effective and practical methods to protect the public health and "in particular, to promote access to medicines for all," as is called for in Paragraph of the 4 declaration, or the WTO is a place where crude compromises on public health are hammered out disease by disease, product by product, country by country, and patient by patient.

For information, contact:

Consumer Project on Technology, James Love (+41 79 569 6022)

Medecins sans Frontieres, Ellen t Hoen (+336 223 75871)

Oxfam, Michael Bailey (+44 79 68196102)

Third World Network, Cecilia Oh (+41 76 523 1233)

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