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WTO & Generics : WTO Chairman Sergio Marchi is changing the Doha Ministerial Declaration

12 - 13 - 2002

As the United States and the European Union are stepping up bilateral pressure on the Trade Ministers of key developing countries, WTO Chairman Sergio Marchi from Canada, is actively extending in the WTO General Council these intimidation tactics.

By affirming that « the mandate conferred by Doha was to find solutions for the poorest of the poor in the most remote areas », Sergio Marchi is deliberately changing the Ministerial Declaration of the November 2001 Doha Conference, and playing into the tactics of rich countries and pharmaceutical corporations.

Indeed, the very first paragraph of the « Ministerial Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health » reads that the Trade Ministers « recognize the gravity of the public health problems afflicting many developing and least-developed countries ». This language should leave Mr Marchi no room for his interpretation : the framework was clearly set by the Trade Ministers last year, to deal with public health problems for all developing countries.

Act Up-Paris demands that Sergio Marchi immediately withdraw his false and pernicious assertions which, by making a travesty of the public health mandate for the crucial negotiations at hand in the WTO, are blocking a solution on the critical issue of access to health products for people with diseases in poor countries.

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