Johannesburg, 28 February, 2021 / 2:52 pm (ACI Africa).
Members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Africa and Madagascar have, through their leadership, joined over 100 countries across the globe to petition the G20 countries to support the waiver of the patent rights on coronavirus vaccines submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) last year.
In October 2020, South Africa and India submitted a proposal for a waiver from certain provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, TRIPS is an international legal agreement between members of the WTO that allows the provision of more extensive protection of intellectual property.
“We are lending our voice to over 100 countries, 400 civil society organizations globally and international organizations that have already welcomed or supported the proposal,” the leadership of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) says in the statement submitted to G20 countries with embassies in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
In the statement dated February 22, which JCAM President, Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, signed, the Jesuit Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar add that the petition to the G20 nations adds voice to that of Pope Francis who has underscored the need for COVID-19 vaccine to be made available and accessible to all.