Wednesday, 08 December 2021 03:38 GMT

Swiss open to compromise in Covid vaccine talks at WTO


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Switzerland remains opposed to a full waiver of the intellectual property rights of Covid-19 vaccines and drugs Keystone / Peter Schneider

Switzerland is open to compromise in talks on the intellectual property (IP) rights of Covid-19 vaccines and drugs at the World Trade Organization (WTO), but it remains opposed to a full waiver of those rights, says a senior Swiss diplomat.

This content was published on November 25, 2021 - 15:48 November 25, 2021 - 15:48 Reuters/ts

Switzerland is one of a handful of WTO members alongside Britain and the European Union opposed to a waiver of IP rights protected by the TRIPS agreement in negotiations at the WTO that began in October 2020.

Proponents and activists are heaping pressure on those hold-out countries ahead of a ministerial conference in Geneva next week and plan to stage protests.

“We remain convinced that the TRIPS waiver will not result in one additional dose of vaccine and may jeopardise existing partnerships that have allowed us to increase production,” Didier Chambovey, Switzerland's ambassador to the WTO, told reporters on Thursday.

However, he said the Swiss view was not“totally rigid” and that the country was in discussions with others about potentially finding agreement, without giving details of those discussions.

“We are really ready to look into this and to make a step in the direction of the other side,” Chambovey said.

Areas of compromise might involve simplifying the processes for compulsory licences and improving technology transfers, he said.

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