Item 13B – Status report on the consideration by the TRIPS council of the "Proposal for a waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19" (IP/C/W/669)

Statement by the Chair of the Council for TRIPS

December 16-18, 2020

Canada is pleased that Members were able to reach consensus on the status report, and indeed as to the next steps in this important discussion. Canada is confident that Members will be able to resolve any concrete IP challenges identified by Members in an evidence-based and consensual manner. Canada once again wishes to highlight its communication, co-sponsored by Australia, Chile and Mexico and numbered IP/C/W/671, which seeks to better understand the nature and scope of any concrete IP challenges experienced by Members related to or arising from the TRIPS Agreement such that would constitute impediments to the fight against COVID-19. We look forward to an evidence-based and fruitful discussion of these important issues in the TRIPS Council.

Mr. Chairman, Canada is working closely with international partners, including Gavi, the COVAX Facility, and vaccine manufacturers, to ensure that all possible options are explored in developing mechanisms to ensure doses get to people around the world who need them.

Canada has contributed 865 million Canadian dollars to date to partners of the ACT-Accelerator, a coalition of international organizations and countries overseeing the development, production and equitable distribution of affordable COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Canada remains actively committed to a robust, multifaceted, and global effort to address the pandemic, one that draws upon all of the necessary resources and tools available in the international rules-based trading system, as well as new mechanisms for global cooperation on the procurement of treatments for COVID-19.

As equitable, timely, and affordable access to testing, treatments, and effective vaccines will be critical for controlling and ending this pandemic, we look forward to continued engagement with all members of the international community, including here at the WTO, to finding solutions to these global challenges.

Thank you.

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