The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the WTO launched on 11 April 2022 their new Trilateral COVID-19 Technical Assistance Platform. This new tool aims to help members and WTO accession candidates address their capacity building needs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In welcoming the initiative, WTO Director-General Okonjo-Iweala said the Platform "takes our trilateral collaboration to the next level: a one-stop shop for members to seek and receive support from the three organizations on all available tools including intellectual property flexibilities to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines, medicines, and related technologies."
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The WHO-WIPO-WTO partnership aims to place public health innovation and intellectual property at the service of access to health technologies for everyone. Countries should consider using this platform and all other available mechanisms to promote public health.”
WIPO Director General Daren Tang noted the three organizations "came together last summer to offer our expertise and resources jointly to help members overcome the complex challenges posed by the pandemic. I am proud that through our partnership, we are providing a Trilateral Technical Assistance Platform that gives members a 'one-stop shop' access to the expertise and resources of all three organizations. By working together to support the strengthening of innovation, trade and health, we can help members overcome and recover.”
The new Platform for COVID-19 related technical assistance provides WTO members and accession candidates an overview of technical assistance activities offered by the three organizations. It supports members and accession candidates seeking to address their needs for COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and related technologies and facilitates requests for the provision of timely and tailored technical assistance with a view to making full use of all available options.
Additionally, the Platform provides members and accession candidates with a single contact form which they can use to reach out to the trilateral organizations.
The Trilateral COVID-19 Technical Assistance Platform is part of the existing trilateral collaboration framework between WHO, WIPO and WTO, as agreed by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WIPO Director General Daren Tang, and WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in their meeting on 15 June 2021 and reaffirmed on 1 February 2022. The three organizations are committed to working closely together to help overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating human, social and economic impacts.