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June 15, 2021
In response to our partners in the Global South, Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) supports the current global campaign for COVID-19 vaccine equity that advocates for making vaccines more accessible to people in low and middle-income countries. The campaign focuses on a waiver of certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for all medical products related to COVID-19.
Without the waiver, low and middle-income countries will have to rely on charity from pharmaceutical companies and wealthy countries or go without access to lifesaving medicines and technology.
CJI invited four distinguished guests, Fr Charles Chilufya SJ, Dr Sunita Narain, Dr Katrina Plamondon and Dr Jeffrey Sachs to talk about the campaign on vaccine equity, speak of the impact of COVID in the Global South, and inform us on how we can support this campaign.
Write to Prime Minister Trudeau (and your MP) and ask the Government of Canada to support the TRIPS waiver and to play its part in reimagining global governance that paves the way for a just future for all.
You can use the sample letter below, copy and paste it on an email, sign and send it to the Prime Minister (and your MP). Please make sure to copy the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Their emails are in the sample letter.
Fr Charles Chilufya is the coordinator of the Africa Task Force of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission. He is a Jesuit priest who has served as Director of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM) Justice and Ecology Office (JEO) since 2018 in Nairobi. JEO coordinates the Jesuits’ work in economic, social, migration, gender and climate justice in Africa. JEO is a vital Jesuit interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and local issues confronting populations in Africa.
Dr Sunita Narain is an environmentalist and writer, and presently serves as the director-general of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth. Dr Narain plays an active role in policy formulation on issues of environment and development in India and globally. She has co-authored publications on India’s environment, conducted in-depth research on the governance and management of the country’s environment and directed campaigns on air pollution control, community water management, sustainable industrialization and food & toxins, among others. In 2016, she was featured in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Dr Katrina Plamondon is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She is a Canadian woman of Cree-Irish-Quebecois ancestry whose research focuses on how to advance evidence-informed equity action. She co-chairs the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research’s University Advisory Council and is a member of Canada’s National Scientific Advisory Committee for Global Health. Dr Plamondon led the development of the equity-centred CCGHR Principles for Global Health Research (www.ccghr.ca/resources/principles-global-health-research/) and continuously contributes to national and international dialogue about Canada’s role in global health, amplifying issues of equity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Jeffrey D. Sachs is a professor, author, and advisor to governments around the world and to the United Nations. He leads global efforts for sustainable development and climate safety. Sachs is a strong supporter of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. He is an expert on public health and epidemics and has advised the World Health Organization at the highest levels during the past 20 years. Sachs helped to conceive and implement the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.