Current debate

Week 18: Vaccine patent and Swedish recognition of genocide

With India's dramatic increase in covid-19, this week's debate has mainly focused on vaccine patents and whether it should be abolished to help hard-hit countries better respond to the pandemic.

In recent days, we have seen a dramatic increase in covid cases in India with a record number of cases per day when it was reported 400 cases on April 30th. This has sparked debate in the Western world about how best to help affected countries like India. A popular proposal is to temporarily abolish the pharmaceutical companies' patent rights on the vaccine in order to enable the vaccine to reach as many people as possible.

- The Swedish government should change its footing and support the proposal to the WTO for a temporary exemption from patent rights to vaccines. It writes some debaters from Karolinska Institutet in Svenska Dagbladet. They want Sweden to follow US initiative when it comes to vaccine patents and that Sweden "acts quickly, actively and forcefully so that the whole EU takes the same position".

We find the same attitude to the vaccine patents in an article from ETC Nyhetsmagasin where members of the European Parliament and some Swedish members of parliament appeal to the EU and the Western countries to:

- Ssupport the World Trade Organization's (WHO) proposal to suspend certain intellectual property rights under the Agreement on Trade - Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

That is - abolish the vaccine patents. They conclude by reminding that it is in everyone's interest to "work together to ensure that widespread vaccination takes place globally, as quickly as possible, and that all obstacles are removed".

The Armenian genocide

Another debate that has taken place this week is about whether Sweden should recognize the Armenian genocide as a genocide after US President Joe Biden recently did just that.

A number of Social Democratic politicians write in Aftonbladet that Sweden should acknowledge the genocide. The Riksdag made a decision on the issue as early as March 20, 2010, but this has not been followed by a decision by the government, which is the authority that decides Swedish foreign policy.

They end the article with a passionate appeal:

- Admit the genocide now. Not only because there are many who are affected by the genocide in our country or because there are many strong voices who want it - but because it is right.

 

A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles on global development and Sweden's role in the world:

Vaccin

Release the vaccine patents
Various parliamentarians, ETC News Magazine

Follow Biden's example - vaccine patents should be abolished
Debaters from Karolinska Institutet, Svenska Dagbladet

Abolished patent protection does not vaccinate the world
DN's editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

"To help the other two thirds of the earth as well."
Kenneth Rogoff, Sydsvenskan

Human Rights

S-politician: The government must acknowledge the genocide
Kenneth Handberg (S), Olle Vikmång (S), Jimmy Jansson (S), Boel Godner (S), Ebba Östlin (S), Expressen

Protest against Erdogan's aggressive mock trials
Amineh Kakabaveh, Dagens ETC

The EU must strongly oppose the Government of India
Jakop Dalunde (MP), Dagens ETC

Erdogan plays The whole sea storms with the EU
Tove Lifvendahl, Svenska Dagbladet

Other items

"Sweden's Latin America strategy misses the mark"
Erik Lysen, International Director, Act Church of Sweden, Lena Ingelstam, Secretary General, Diakonia, Martin Nihlgård, Secretary General, Individual Humanitarian Aid, Mariann Eriksson, Secretary General, Plan International Sweden, Anna Tibblin, Secretary General, We Effect, The World

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