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WIPO, WHO, WTO Joint Technical Symposium on the COVID-19 Pandemic
(Photo: Getty Images)

WHO, WIPO, WTO Joint Technical Symposium on the COVID-19 Pandemic: Response, Preparedness, Resilience

WHOWTO and WIPO held a joint technical symposium on the COVID-19 pandemic on December 16, 2022 from 10.30 a.m. at WIPO in a hybrid format. The aim of the Symposium was to examine the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss possible ways forward within the health, IP and trade frameworks.

The Symposium offered a forum for all stakeholders to exchange views and experiences. Participation was open to all interested individuals and organizations. The symposium washeld in English only.

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WIPO, WHO, WTO Joint Technical Symposium

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Response, Preparedness, Resilience


The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary public health crisis affecting people and populations around the globe and involving a broad range of policy areas. Large-scale efforts since early 2020 to develop effective treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines resulted in the approval of the first vaccines in late 2020.

These efforts were driven by the urgent need for a response along the entire value chain of COVID-19 related health technologies, ranging from research and development of those technologies to their medical regulation, procurement, distribution and responsible use.

This Symposium was the ninth in a series of joint technical symposia convened by WHO, WIPO and WTO.  It was built on the collaborative work undertaken by the three agencies to enhance capacity, including the trilateral study Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation PDF, Study Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation.

More information about the previous symposia: WHO | WIPO | WTO


The event was opened by the three Directors General. The Keynote Address was delivered by Salim Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and Professor of Global Health, Columbia University, who reviewed developments during the pandemic and options for a way forward from a scientific perspective.

The opening address was followed by two panel discussions.

Download the full program PDF, WHO, WIPO, WTO Joint Technical Symposium

Video: WHO, WIPO & WTO Trilateral Symposium 2022

Introductory remarks and keynote speaker

Daren Tang
Daren Tang
WIPO Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Salim Abdool Karim, Keynote Speaker
Director, CAPRISA and Professor of Global Health, Columbia University
(Presentation )

Panel discussions

Panel 1 – Key challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic

During the first panel, speakers shared their respective experiences regarding select key challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, including R&D, scaling up and diversifying manufacturing, transfer of technology and know-how and equitable access to medical technologies.

Moderated by Ms. Anabel González, Deputy Director-General, WTO


Viviana Muñoz Tellez
Coordinator, Health, Intellectual Property and Biodiversity Program, The South Centre

Ahmed Ogwell Ouma
Acting Director, Africa CDC

James Class
Executive Director, Policy, Gilead Sciences

Suzette Kox
Secretary General, The International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA)

Felipe Carvalho
Coordinator of the MSF Access Campaign in Brazil and Latin America

Panel 2 – Response and preparedness

Speakers on the second panel reviewed initiatives to respond and recover from the current health crisis and build resilience for future pandemics.

Moderated by Ms Hanan Hassan O Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products Division, WHO


Wolfgang Philipp
Deputy Head, Directorate-General Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), European Commission

Sonia Tarragona
Chief of Cabinet, Ministry of Health, Argentina

Lucia Rizka Andalucia
Director General for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, Ministry of Health, Indonesia

Roland Driece
Director, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Netherlands, and Co-chair, Intergovernmental Negotiating Body

Rajinder Suri 
CEO, Developing Countries Vaccines Manufacturers Network (DVCMN)

Marion Motari

Legal Counsel, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

Anna Mariott

Health Policy Advisor, Oxfam

Closing remarks

Wrap up and closing by Mr. Edward Kwakwa, Assistant Director General, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector