BY RICHARD MUPONDE
THE International Bar Association (IBA) has applauded United States President Joseph Biden for supporting the lifting of intellectual property (IP) rights for Covid-19 vaccines, saying this will help fight the pandemic which is unselective.
IBA president Sternford Moyo, a member of the Alpha Media Holdings board of directors and senior partner and chairman at Scanlen & Holderness law firm in Zimbabwe, said Biden had shown great leadership in working towards healing a world ravaged by a disease that makes no distinction as to who it destroys.
“This pandemic has revealed in stark measure our interconnectedness, which we should now harness to find solutions for the benefit of humankind,” Moyo said in supporting the movement to waive IP rights for the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines.
“Undoubtedly, the manufacture and distribution of vaccines are complex, but states across our shared planet must prioritise the protection of life and health above all else. Reaching agreements to stabilise this unprecedented global health emergency, while still respecting property rights, is possible if the will to do so is in place.”
He said the division between industrially developed and industrially developing nations had no place in tackling this crisis.
“It’s encouraging that heads of governments, including President Emmanuel Macron of France, and hugely influential figures, such as Bill and Melinda Gates, have altered their positions to become proponents of the waiver,” Moyo added.
“Hopefully, this bodes well for true cooperation between countries and the monolithic pharmaceutical companies that will be necessary at many stages. ‘Building back better’ must include doing so more equitably. This is the hour to replace platitudes with action.”