EU-India FTA Global Week of Action: Updates
India: Sign-on Letter to European Commission handed over
10 February 2012, New Delhi: As part of the Global Week of Action on the EU-India FTA, activists in India today intervened at a public lecture by Mr Van Rompuy, the European Council President, and handed over the sign-on letter to the European Commission signed by several international and national civil society organisations and individuals. The letter highlights the deleterious impact of EU-India FTA on access to medicines and calls upon the European Commission to demonstrate that its commitments to human rights are not mere protestations. The public lecture on ‘The European Union in a Changing World’ was jointly organised by India International Centre and the Delegation of the European Union to India. During the Q and A session, Anandi Yuvaraj, from the International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS – Asia Pacific (ICW Asia-Pacific), made an intervention and handed over the letter to the European Council President. You can read a detailed description of the intervention and Anandi’s statement here.
Updates from other countries
Several letters were also sent to the Government of India and the European Commission as part of the Global Week of Action. Some of these letters are available below.
- Letter dated 8 February 2012 from Red Argentina de Personas Positivas to Indian Ambassador
- Letter dated 8 February 2012 from RAMVIHS to Indian Ambassador
- Letter dated 9 February 2012 from CASA Manu to Prime Minister of India
- Letter dated 8 February 2012 from Agrupación HAIN to Indian ambassador
- Letter dated 8 February 2012 from AMUGEN to Indian ambassador
- Letter dated 8 February 2012 from ITPC-LATCA to Indian ambassador
GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: EU-INDIA FTA
6-10 February 2012
In 2001, India’s generics brought prices down from $15000 per person per year to $350 for first line AIDS medicines.
80% of people living with HIV in developing countries are on Indian generic ARVs
Over 90% of pediatric AIDS medicines are supplied by Indian generics.
BUT ALL THIS COULD CHANGE IF INDIA DOES NOT SAY NO TO IP IN THE EU-INDIA FTA
This January, another round of negotiations on intellectual property was held between Indian and EU negotiators as part of the EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks. News reports in India quote the EU Ambassador as stating that discussions on Pharmaceuticals have progressed significantly.
On the 10th of February 2012, at the EU-India Summit to be held in Delhi, the EU & India will agree on and finalize the political framework for the FTA. Groups in India are worried – how have the IP negotiations progressed?
Are the EC and India progressing towards an agreement with includes provisions that will seriously hamper India’s ability to manufacture safe, effective and affordable generic medicines and export these to other developing countries?
WHY THE CALL FOR ACTION?
6th – 10th FEBRUARY 2012!!
Since 2007, people living with HIV in India and across the world have been resisting the pressure of the EC on India to sign an FTA with provisions on intellectual property that will endanger access to generic medicines from India. We must once more show the EC and the Indian government that our lives cannot be traded away!
This is a Call for a week of Action across the globe from 6th – 10th February 2012 on the EU-INDIA FTA.
The week of action is a run up to the EU-India Summit that will be held in Delhi on 10th February 2012.
- Investment Rules, as they enable foreign companies to take the Indian government to private courts over domestic health policies like measures to reduce prices of medicines.
- Border Measures, as they will deny medicines to patients in other developing countries with custom officials seizing generic medicines in transit.
- Injunctions, as they undermine the independence of the Indian judiciary to protect right to health of patients over the profits of drug companies.
- Other Intellectual Property Enforcement Measures, as they put third parties like treatment providers at risk of police actions and court cases.
DON’T BRING BACK:
- Data Exclusivity, as it delays the registration of generic medicines and will not permit the placing of affordable versions of pediatric doses and combinations of “off-patent” medicines on the market. IT’S NOT REQUIRED UNDER THE TRIPS AGREEMENT!
- Patent Term Extension, as it will extend patent life beyond 20 years.
The EC states that these two provisions are off the table. It must keep its word!
PLEASE JOIN US -YOUR COMRADES- IN INDIA!
In the coming days, groups from around the world and in India will demonstrate against the EU-India FTA. We ask you to join us in sending a clear message to the European Commission: our lives cannot be traded away.
1. Organise your own rally: You can organize rallies or demonstrations in front of European Commission offices in your countries to voice your opposition to their aggressive negotiations on intellectual property in FTAs. Don’t forget that the EU is also negotiating FTAs with many other developing countries and making the same demands.
2. Raise awareness/media action: Even though you might not be able to support our rally financially or physically you can help us by spreading the word about our concerns. Write an editorial in your local paper. Hold a press conference. Issue a press release or press statement.
3. Write to the Indian Government: You can also write to the Indian Government asking it to stay strong and not give in to the demands of the European Commission. India, as the pharmacy of the developing world, has an obligation to its citizens as well as patients across the world. Please try and meet the Indian ambassadors in your countries and convey to them how important it is that India reject ALL the demands of the EU. Millions of lives depend on this.
4. Write to your own government: Public health programmes around the world depend on generic medicines from India. Ask your government to tell the EU and the Indian government to keep IP out of the FTA negotiations.
5. Share your actions: PLEASE send us photos, articles, videos of all your actions immediately and FOLLOW the actions of other groups here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-EU-India-Free-Trade-Agreement/144687138908841 and here http://donttradeourlivesaway.wordpress.com/
6. Donate: In order to organize these protests, we rely on funding. Any financial support is welcome. No amount is too small – or too big! If you know organizations, which are interested in funding, if you want donate to our protest, please contact us.
We plan to meet the aggressiveness of the European Commission with our peaceful protests. There is too much at stake. Join us NOW!
Delhi Network of Positive People & Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit
SUPPORT US IN OUR ACTION AGAINST THE EU-INDIA FTA
4 February 2012, New Delhi.
India and the European Union (EU) are gearing up for the EU-India summit scheduled to be held in New Delhi on 9–10 February 2012. The two sides are expected to make some major announcements about the framework of the free trade agreement (FTA) they are presently negotiating and which they hope to conclude by the end of 2012.
Civil society groups in India and across the world are concerned about how the FTA between EU and India would affect access to medicines. Concerned about the developments, civil society groups in India have called for a Global Week of Action 2012.
You can support us by (1) sending a letter to the Prime Minister of India AND (2) by signing onto a global sign-on letter to the European Commission.
1. Write to the Government of India
Your voices must be heard by the Government of India. In the past, your letters have made a difference. A template letter to the Prime Minister of India, which you may use, can be downloaded HERE.
For those of you who are in India, you can directly send the letter via fax or email to the Prime Minister’s Office.
2. Sign-on to the letter to the European Commission
You can also support us by signing on to the letter to the European Commission, which can be viewed HERE.
Deadline: 8 February 2012