Seanad passes Senator Higgins’ motion calling for a TRIPS waiver

Alice Mary Higgins Trips Waiver Motion Launch Leinster House
Alice Mary Higgins Trips Waiver Motion Launch Leinster House

Independent Senator Alice-Mary Higgins today introduced a motion in the Seanad calling on the Government to support a TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver on Covid-19 vaccine technology and on the Government to publicly call on the European Commission to do the same.

The motion was seconded by Senator Lynn Ruane and co-sponsored by Senators Frances Black, Paul Gavan, Lynn Boylan, Fintan Warfield, Niall O’Donnghaile, Rebecca Moynihan, Marie Sherlock, Annie Hoey, Mark Wall and Victor Boyhan

 Speaking after the Seanad debate, Senator Higgins said “In a pandemic we need to prioritise public health over profit. The World Health Organisation, the United Nations, doctors, nurses, academics and civil society across the world have all made it crystal clear that we need a TRIPS waiver as a first step in the scaling up of global manufacturing and access to vaccines. Over 100 countries are supporting such a waiver in World Trade Organisation negotiations and just a handful of countries including those represented by the European Commission have consistently blocked the waiver.”

 “The motion from the Seanad tonight sends a clear message that we want the Irish Government to join other governments like Italy and Portugal in taking a stand in support of a TRIPS waiver and publicly calling on the European Commission to change position and allow for earlier and urgent scaling up of global supply of life saving vaccines.”

 “I want to thank the co-sponsors of this motion and I also want to thank Government Senators who spoke passionately and powerfully about their own support for a TRIPS waiver. I am glad that the Minister listened to the House and agreed to the withdrawal of a regressive Government counter-motion.”

 The Seanad tonight sent a powerful message. I now strongly urge the Irish Government to listen to that message and to publicly press the European Commission to support a TRIPS waiver in advance of the next WTO meeting in February 2022.”, Senator Higgins concluded. 

More Stories