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COVID-19 Vaccines: Norway could have played a crucial role as chair of the TRIPS Council, as a member of the UN Security Council, and as a large donor.

– EMBARRASSING: Norway under Erna Solberg no longer has a leadership role for international solidarity.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide and Minister for Development Aid Dag-Inge Ulstein, and the Norwegian government have so far opposed poor countries being able to produce corona vaccines patent-free. It is now only embarrassing to witness how Norway responds to the US turnaround operation when it comes to vaccine production in poor countries. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB

For half a year, Norway has played a key role in giving poor countries the opportunity to produce corona vaccines – without using it. To shock and disbelief from India and South Africa and the world’s poor countries, according to Doctors Without Borders.

It is outrageous that the rich countries have for months blocked a repeal of patents in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Norway has a key role as leader of the TRIPS Council and has played a very embarrassing role in this matter

SV leader Audun Lysbakken to Dagbladet

The TRIPS Council is the forum where questions about how patents are to be processed within the trade organization. India and South Africa have proposed on behalf of the world poor countries in the WTO a repeal of patents on behalf of the world poor countries, but have been blocked by the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.

Voted down twice.

SV has twice proposed in the Storting that Norway should turn around and open up for poor countries to produce vaccines without paying for them. We were voted down both times by the government parties, the Labor Party and the Progress Party.

A group of American lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to support the move by India and South Africa and other nations before the World Trade Organization for an emergency temporary waiver of some Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules to enable greater production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests.

We simply cannot allow this to happen. During this time of crisis, rather than protecting wealthy pharmaceutical companies’ bottom lines or intellectual property derived from our collective investments, we must remove all impediments to vaccine distribution, including maximizing capacity worldwide to ensure every person who wants this vaccine has access as soon as possible regardless of economic background, race, or nationality.

Adriano Espaillat

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