Civil Society from across the globe will gather in Istanbul from the 19th to the 21st of July 2022 for the second edition of the Global Summit on Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines (GSIPA2M).
The summit is a biennial gathering organised by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) and Make Medicines Affordable consortium to hold critical debates and discussions on the patent system and access to lifesaving medicines.
In 2018, the first GSIPA2M, under the theme of “Pathways to Access,” was organised as a return to Marrakesh to reflect, discuss and strategise on over two decades of the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement, its impact on health and access to medicines and to imagine and re-imagine what the next two decades of TRIPS implementation will (or could) bring. The second edition of the GSIPA2M, initially planned in 2020 was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Much of what was discussed at the Marrakesh GSIPA2M of the adverse consequences of the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement, unfolded quickly and devastatingly during the pandemic. Over 6 million people lost their lives around the world. We lost friends, family. We’ve witnessed at an unimaginable pace the devastating consequences of the implementation of the TRIPS agreement and the unequivocal inequalities of a system that puts profits over lives.
All this in the midst of the 20-year anniversary of the Doha Declaration. In a sad reality where we couldn’t meet in person, a week-long virtual Pre-Summit under the theme “Doha@20: Reimagining Access” was organized from 14-21 November 2021 to serve as a platform to reflect, discuss and strategize on two decades of the implementation of the Doha Declaration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that the need for radical change to the global intellectual property system is more urgent than ever. As pharmaceutical corporations reap enormous profits and rich countries stockpile health products, developing countries are still struggling to offer testing, provide treatment and vaccinate their people. Millions of people have lost their lives to COVID-19 and the WTO recent decision on the TRIPS waiver is unlikely to fully address the global need for vaccines, diagnostics and treatment now – or when new pandemics threaten our future existence.
As the world enters its third pandemic year, this second summit will be a space for civil society organizations, especially from developing countries, to continue – and increase- pressure for significant change, rather than trying to work around a system that prioritizes profits over lives. Under the theme “The Pandemic Edition: Reclaiming Access,” GSIPA2M-2022 will focus on the lessons on IP and access from the past two years with an emphasis on sharing experiences, building capacity and strategizing on reclaiming access.
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