The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary global public health crisis involving a broad range of policy areas. Large-scale efforts since early 2020 to develop effective treatments, diagnostics and vaccines have resulted in the approval of the first vaccines in late 2020. These efforts have highlighted the urgent need for a response along the entire value chain of health technologies relating to COVID-19, ranging from research and development (R&D) of health technologies to their medical regulation, procurement, distribution and responsible use.

The objective of the Symposium is to examine key challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic within the frameworks of health, trade and intellectual property, and to discuss the way forward to build resilience to be better prepared for future pandemics. The event will be opened by the three Directors-General. The keynote address will be delivered by Salim Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and Professor for Global Health in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University, who will review developments during the pandemic and options for a way forward from a scientific perspective.

This will be followed by two panel discussions. During the first panel, speakers will share their respective experiences with regard to select key challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, including R&D, scaling up and diversifying manufacturing, transfer of technology and know-how and equitable access to medical technologies. Speakers on the second panel will be invited to review initiatives to respond to and recover from the current health crisis and build resilience for future pandemics. The Symposium will be interactive and will offer a forum for all stakeholders to exchange views and experiences.

The Symposium is the ninth in a series of joint technical symposia convened by the WHO, WIPO and the WTO. It builds on the collaborative work undertaken by the three organizations to enhance capacity in their members to deal with issues at the intersections between health, trade and intellectual property, including the trilateral publication Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation. The publication and information about the previous symposia are available at WHO, WIPO and WTO websites.

Information about the draft programme, online registration and the live webcast will be available from the Symposium webpage. Online registration is mandatory by 11 December 2022 at Webinar Registration — Zoom.

Participation is open to all interested individuals and organizations. In-person attendance is subject to availability of space. Registered participants without United Nations or WIPO accreditation must present an official and valid form of identification. The symposium will be held in English only; no interpretation will be available.




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