Policy Discussions and International Organizations

Slideshow: “MC12” WTO Ministerial Conference

At the WTO’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference WTO Members should agree new trade rules to support the global response to COVID-19, accelerate the economic recovery, and enhance future pandemic preparedness. WTO Members should eliminate tariffs on health products, including finished therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines, as well as the active pharmaceutical ingredients, raw materials, chemicals, other inputs and intermediaries, and specialty equipment used to invent, manufacture, and deploy these products.

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WIPO Director General Calls for Collective Action to Overcome COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Global Challenges

A range of intellectual property-related indicators showed great resilience despite the economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic. In opening the WIPO Assemblies, WIPO Director General Daren Tang highlighted the need for WIPO to evolve, to mirror this trend toward the increasing centrality of human innovation and creativity as principal drivers of economic growth.

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Powered Up Festival 2021

Streaming throughout October 2021, Powered Up festival features a line-up of live-streamed sessions which aim to inspire innovation, creativity & entrepreneurship through the power of intellectual property (IP). Trade marks, designs, patents, copyright, and other IP rights, help us all to grow, protect and share our ideas, creations and products with the rest of the world.

Organised by Ideas Powered for Creatives, the festival is a mix of panel discussions, keynote speeches and one-to-one interviews, which will showcase some of the most-creative young minds and talked-about companies in Europe.

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Addressing the IP Gender Gap

This series of virtual events will take a look at the IP gender gap in the Americas region. Political leaders, heads of IP offices, economists, and scholars will discuss how best to attract underrepresented groups to use the patent system, what data needs to be collected in order to understand the gap, and how to interpret new and existing data in order to develop solutions that will help close the gap.

The High-Level Policy panel will take place on 13 October, 5:30-6:30pm CET // 11:30am-12:30pm EDT // 8:30-9:30am PDT.

The IP Economist panel will take place on 14 October, 5-7pm CET // 11am-1pm EDT // 8-10am PDT.

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WHO: ACT-Accelerator partnership

Global leaders attending the US-hosted Global COVID-19 Summit on 22 September re-affirmed their commitment to ending the acute phase of the pandemic, and the goals of the ACT-Accelerator, by agreeing targets to provide equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Global targets agreed at the Summit include vaccinating 40% of the world’s population in 2021 and 70% of the population in 2022; achieving testing rates of one per 1,000 people per day in all countries by the end of 2021; and for all facilities treating patients with severe COVID-19 to have sufficient oxygen supplies, quality-assured treatments and PPE.

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UN: Covid-19 Summit: Sharing Knowledge, Technology Critical to Curb Virus

Leaders at a virtual Covid-19 summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2021, pledged to mobilize millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines and billions of dollars to “build back better”. Following the summit, the US and European Commission made public a statement to launch a “taskforce” on Covid-19 manufacturing and supply chains, which includes a commitment to coordinate initiatives to boost global production of vaccines and therapeutics.

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COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP 2021)

WHO is issuing the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for 2021 and accompanying documents as a package aimed at guiding the coordinated action that we must take at national, regional, and global levels to overcome the ongoing challenges in the response to COVID-19, address inequities, and plot a course out of the pandemic.

The Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan 2021 (SPRP2021) builds on what has been learned about the virus and our collective response over the course of 2020, and translates that knowledge into strategic actions. This plan builds on achievements and also focuses on the new challenges, to mitigate, for example, risks related to new variants. The plan also considers the road we need to travel towards the safe, equitable and effective delivery of diagnostics and vaccines as part of the overall strategy to successfully tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

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OECD Economic Outlook, Interim Report: Keeping the Recovery on Track

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.) published its Economic Outlook Interim Report stating that a global economic recovery from the pandemic was finally taking hold, but it inched back its forecast for worldwide economic growth and warned that the rebound was benefiting wealthier countries more than the developing world as vaccine distribution occurs at an uneven pace. Countries that have made big strides toward vaccinating most of their populations are bouncing back much more quickly than those that are still struggling to obtain shots, the O.E.C.D. said, raising a host of related economic problems that are affecting global supply chains and pose a risk for the future.

Laurence Boone, the organization’s chief economist: “If we continue to vaccinate and adapt better to living with the virus, supply will begin to normalize and this pressure will fade, but for that we have to vaccinate more people.”

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2021 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen

In her State of the Union Address on September 15, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, emphasised the need for Europe to focus on long-term innovation priorities, and to connect them to key green and digital goals. She stated that the EU has the necessary innovation and science capabilities, but needs to create the right conditions to foster innovation. This is particularly important for Europe’s planned digital transformation and in regard to the growing demand for chips, she said, and should be addressed through the European Chips Act, which will invest in European technology sovereignty, strengthen global supply chains, and develop new investment projects for green and digital technologies as part of the European Green Deal.

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