The international civil society and the UN General Assembly’s special session on COVID-19 pandemic

Letter from the Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth

Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

We hereby take the liberty of drawing your attention and solicit your support – a signature – to the initiative of our international citizens’ association the Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth, in favour of a common global public policy against the Covid-19. pandemic, free of patents and off-market.

In fact, the UN General Assembly has just convened a Special Session on the Covid-19 Pandemic at the level of Heads of State and Government for the next 3 and 4 December. It took more than a year of discussions to overcome the opposition of some States, notably the United States of former President Donald Trump.

The holding of this Special Session (the 37th in the history of the UN) is of considerable importance. It is a unique opportunity to define and implement joint actions at the global level to fight the pandemic in order to ensure the right to life and health for all the inhabitants of the Earth. As the President of the UN General Assembly wrote in his letter of convocation: “Let us not forget that none of us are safe, until we are all safe”.

This is a historic moment. The future of the UN is at stake, and above all the capacity of our societies to give life a universal value free from any subordination to market, economic and power “reasons”. Health, life, is not a question of business, profits, national power, domination or survival of the strongest.

This special session is also very important because it represents a great opportunity for us citizens. It encourages us to express our priorities and wishes, to put pressure on our elected leaders so that their decisions comply with the constitutional principles of our States and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Peoples.

As the Agora of the Inhabitants  of the Earth, we have already intervened in September with the UN Secretary General in defence of a health policy without private patents for profit and free of charge (under collective financial responsibility) (see https://www.pressenza.com/fr/2020/09/lettre-ouverte-au-secretaire-general-de-lonu-sur-le-vaccin-covid-19/).

On 23 October, at the WTO (World Trade Organisation) level, the “rich” countries of the North (United States, European Union, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan…) rejected the request made by South Africa and India, supported by the WHO (World Health Organisation) and other countries of the South, to temporarily suspend the application of patent rules in the fight against Covid-19. The suspension was intended to allow people in impoverished countries fair and effective access to coronavirus treatment.

Here is a summary of the proposals we intend to submit to the President of the UN GA as a contribution to the work of the meeting on 3-4 December.

 

Abandon the fetishism of money

The Special Session shall

    1. reaffirm that the health of people and ecosystems of the Earth are priorities and must prevail over short-term economic, utilitarian, commercial, corporate and individual interests. Therefore,
    2. to approve the abandonment for the period 2021-2023 of the application of the rules concerning patents on living organisms, in particular on all the tools for combating the Covid-19 pandemic (diagnostics, treatment, vaccines) and
    3. decide to set up a global Task Force, under the aegis of the UN, on the revision of the legal-institutional regime of intellectual property in the anthropocene era.
    4. Apply the fundamental principle that life matters

To this end, it is necessary to change the priorities of global finance by investing in the global public goods economy (health, water, knowledge/education) and by drastically reducing spending (almost €2 trillion in 2019) in the war economy (armaments, competitiveness and domination).

In this perspective, the Special Session should

    1. propose the creation of a Health Public Cooperative Financial Fund, as an integral part of a Caisse de Dépôts et de Consignation Mondiale pour les Biens Publics Mondiaux;
    2. commission UNIDIR or a commission of independent experts to submit a study report on immediate reductions in military expenditure and the reconversion of its allocation to the development, production and distribution of public goods and services in the health and related fields of water, agro-food and knowledge.
    3. Strengthen the functioning and work of the UN (and its agencies) in favour of the development by 2045 of a new political-institutional architecture for Humanity.

To this end,

  1. to recognize Humanity as an institutional subject and key actor in the global politics of life. The opening of a Global Common House of Knowledge, based on the existing pooling of knowledge, experiences, technical tools (case of Costa Rica concerning health…) will be a significant concrete step forward,
  2. propose the urgent creation of a Global Public Goods and Services Security Council, starting with health, water and knowledge.

If you agree with these proposals in the short and long term, your personal support will give greater political and human weight to our approach.

Please send your signature by email, adding only one word on your professional status (in m/f: student, farmer, teacher, engineer, employee, worker, member of associations, retired,…) and place and country of residence :

– to the international central email address of the Agora des Habitants de la Terre l’Agora: secretariat.audace@gmail.com (Paola Libanti, Riccardo Petrella) or, if you prefer,

– to one of the persons mentioned at the bottom of this letter, by country, members of the international committee of the promoters of the Agora.

Your support will be included in the list of signatures that will accompany the document submitted to the President of the UN General Assembly.

Your support is precious to us. We thank you in advance.

Of course, we are at your disposal for any further information.

For the Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth,

the members of the International Committee of Promoters

List of e-mail adresses, in case you choose the national decentralised option.

Argentina Anibal faccendini <anibalfaccendini@yahoo.com.ar>,

Belgium Galand Pierre <pierre.galand6@orange.fr>, Alain Dangoisse <alain.dangoisse@gmail.com>, Alain Adriaens <aadriaens@gmx.com>,

Brazil Luiz Rena <coletivoagorabrasil@gmail.com>, Marcos PS Arruda <marcospsarruda@gmail.com>,

Bulgaria Vladimir Mitev vladimir.mitev@abv.bg 

Burkina Faso, Fatoumata Ki-Zerbo kfatoumata@yahoo.com 

Cameroon Emmanuel Amadou <emmanuelwoudokoui1978@gmail.com>,

Canada/Quebec Pierre Jasmin, <jasmin.pierre@uqam.ca>, Jean-Yves Proulx, jyproulx@videotron.ca 

Chile Luis Infanti de la Mora <linfanti@episcopado.cl>, Adriana Fernández <adrianafernandez.agoraoutreach@gmail.com>,

Colombia Carminda Mac Lorin <carminda.maclorin@katalizo.org>,

France Philippe véniel <venielphil8@gmail.com>, Jean-Pierre Wauquier <jpwh2o@gmail.com>, Cristina Bertelli star@lesperipheriques.org 

Germany:Ina Darmstaedter ina.darmstaedter@web.de   

India Alain Dangoisse alain.dangoisse@gmail.com 

Italy Francesco Comina <francesco.comina@gmail.com>, “Cipsi, Nicola Perrone” <ufficiostampa@cipsi.it>, Alfio Foti <alfiofoti8@gmail.com>, Domenico Rizzuti <mimmo.rz@gmail.com

Lebanon Lilia Ghanem lilia.ghanem@yahoo.fr 

Portugal João Caraça jcaraca@gulbenkian.pt

Romania Vladimir Mitev vladimir.mitev@abv.bg 

Spain Charles Ruiz Unhogar charles.ruiz@unhogar.com 

Switzerland “spinedi.c” <spinedi.c@bluewin.ch>, 

Cross-posted from Pressenza.

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