19 May 2020
International Legal Sector

WHO and Costa Rica preview technology sharing initiative to ensure access for all to COVID-19 health products

The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, and the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, announced last Thursday together with the Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the advances in the technological platform destined to facilitate the access to the vaccines, medicines and other sanitary products destined to cure the COVID-19.

“Our proposal relies on solidarity” said President Alvarado. “It’s a Solidarity call to action to the Member States, to academia, to companies, research institutions and cooperation agencies, based on global social responsibility, on a voluntary basis, promoting more global nonexclusive voluntary licensing.”

“Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe. Solidarity within and between countries and the private sector is essential if we are to overcome these difficult times” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.  “We need to unleash the full power of science, without caveats or restrictions, to deliver innovations that are scalable, usable, and benefit everyone, everywhere, at the same time”.

Also, Ambassador Cristian Streeter, Director of Multilateral Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, speaking on behalf of President Piñera of Chile said that his country, like most countries in the international community, “considers that only through international cooperation is it possible to emerge victorious from the crisis caused by COVID-19”.

This platform will bring together data, knowledge and intellectual property on existing or new medical devices from COVID-19 to provide 'global public goods' for all people and all countries. Through the open exchange of science and data, many companies will be able to access the information they need to produce the technologies, thus expanding availability worldwide, reducing costs and increasing access.

WHO and Costa Rica will officially launch the platform on 29 May. On that date, a Solidarity Call to Action will be published on the WHO website, where governments, research and development funders, institutions and companies will be able to express their support.

The solidarity of all WHO Member States will be decisive in ensuring that the technology platform can be a meaningful instrument for equitable access to COVID-19's health products.

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