Sao Paulo 07:00, Berlin 12:00, Delhi 3.30 pm, Bangkok 17:00
While Big Pharma distributes millions of vaccines in the Global North (particularly in the USA and the UK), the vaccine apartheid continues unabated at the expense of the Global South. In the meantime, the USA, the UK and Switzerland are blocking the debate within the WTO to accept the demands from the Global South for a waiver of intellectual property rights, so that millions of vaccines could be produced and distributed at low cost. While affecting enormous populations in the Global South, this policy may also jeopardize the impact of the vaccination in the global North, considering the intensity of exchanges across the world and the risk of virus mutation.
One of the twisted logic of the current situation is the hostility of the USA and its allies towards the vaccines developed and in development by China, Russia and Cuba. The West is uniting behind Big Pharma in a geopolitical confrontation. The WHO gives legitimacy to the donor-dependent COVAX initiative which provides marginal support to the Global South, while still refusing to distribute vaccines produced by Russia and China. These countries are building their own distribution system in the global south, with their own geopolitical logics.
The rational and humane solution would be to stop this nonsense and impose a single worldwide coordinated system of production and distribution, free of constraints. So far, Big Pharma with its friends in Washington and other ‘western’ capitals put the priority on profits rather than saving lives.
How to oppose this inhuman policy?
How, when and where can we best confront the WTO and the G7?
What are the short and long-term alternative solutions?
How to integrate local, national and regional initiatives into a powerful global campaign?
Panellists include :
Dorothy Guererro (Global Justice Now! – GB) – author, speaker and activist writing about social, economic & climate justice issues. Works with Global Justice Now as Head of Policy and Advocacy since January 2017. Her work in social movements and NGOs spans 30 years. She is originally from the Philippines and has lived in The Netherlands, Germany, Thailand and South Africa before moving to the UK.
Fatima Hassan (Health Justice Initiative – South Africa) – human rights lawyer and social justice activist. She’s the founder of and heads the newly established Health Justice Initiative in South Africa and is the former executive director of the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. She has dedicated her professional life to defending and promoting human rights in South Africa, especially in the field of HIV and AIDS, where she worked for the AIDS Law Project and also acted for the Treatment Action Campaign in many of its legal cases.
Gonzalo Basile (CLACSO, Argentina) – Master in Epidemiology and Postgraduate in Public Health. Bachelor in Social Communication and Bachelor in Political Science. Honorary President, Coordination Latin America and Caribbean Doctors of the World. Co-Coordinator of the International Health WG of CLACSO / Doctors of the World / FLACSO Dominican Republic. Researcher at the Research Institutes in Public Health Caribbean. Regional Coordinator of the WG International Health and Sanitary Sovereignty CLACSO, Coordinator of Cooperation in Health of UNASUR Haiti, of the Latin American Network of Health Systems and Policies of the Latin American Association of Social Medicine (ALAMES).
Jorge Bermudez (Fiocruz – Brazil) – senior researcher at the National School of Public Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). He was a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines and served as Executive Director of Unitaid in Geneva, Switzerland from 2007-2011. A physician (UFRJ 1971), he holds a PhD in Public Health from ENSP/Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (1995) and a master’s degree in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (Tropical Medicine) from the UFRJ School of Medicine (1976). His main areas of interest are collective health, pharmaceutical assistance, access to medicines, barriers to access and intellectual property.
Susana Barria (People’s Health Movement – India) – Researcher at Public Services International (PSI) +91 99588-12915, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simultaneous interpretation between English, Spanish and French.