An intervention by Incoming NGO Delegation for Asia and the Pacific, Ed Attapon Ngoksin of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition.
I am speaking on behalf of International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, a global network of treatment advocates that works in over 100 countries around the world on access to HIV-related treatment.
Communities of PLHIV in India, Thailand, South Africa, Brazil and others are known for their long-standing battle for the right to health. We seek justice and protection of their right to highest attainable standard of health in national justice system. In recent years, we witnessed that it is through juridical system the ‘big industries’ have filed a number court cases against governments which stand by their civil societies and communities PLHIV. My government remained on the “Priority Watch List” of the big country after having issued compulsory licenses to obtain affordable AIDS and heart disease medicines.
It is through this system that civil societies and community of PLHIV file a lawsuit to block the implementation of national legislation that have negative impact on access to affordable medicines. These laws, namely, ‘the Anti-Counterfeit Act’ – the law that aims to protect consumers against counterfeit medicines. Our constituents are very concerned that in many countries we work in, the implications of this law fail to categorically distinguish falsified medicines from generic medicines.
Communities always stand against injustice. We simply need the society to support us. Our experiences have shown that when communities are well informed of their rights and provided appropriate legal aid, they can access and better make use of the laws to protect their right to health.
Speaking of Asia and the Pacific- the region that I represent- amongst the most serious concerns is the proposed India-EU FTA and its provisions regarding IP enforcement and border measures which go far beyond what is required under the TRIPS Agreement. Furthermore, the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has the potential to greatly diminish access to affordable medicines for millions of people in parts of the developing world.
We would like to urge governments to support and promote programmes to know your rights/ laws and access to justice. Ensure the strengthening of legal literacy programmes, particularly in the area of trade laws and the full use of TRIPS flexibilities.
We thank the Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV and look forward to the recommendations that would come out in Feburary 2012. We also ask PCB member states, CS and Co-Sponsors to report once a biennium on progress in implementing these findings & recommendations on HIV & Law.