To confront the pandemic and the global capitalist crisis, the alter-globalisation movement must be relaunched

18 May 2021 by CADTM International

FSM, Belem 2009 (CC - Flickr - Wilfried Maurin)

The Manifesto “End the system of private patents! For a pharmaceutical industry under popular control and a free, universal and public vaccination system”, is an initiative championed by the CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts) International network. A global network based in more than thirty countries on five continents, CADTM jointly with various other social movements contributed to the founding of the World Social Forum (WSF) in 2001.

Two hundred social organisations, coalitions, campaigns, trade unions, and citizens’ organisations from all over the world have signed the Manifesto. In addition to CADTM, important networks that have signed it are:  Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty,Dismantle Corporate power and Stop Impunity; International Association of Health Policy(IAHP); International Peoples’ Assembly (IPA); Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles; People’s Dialogue (south-south network); People’s Health Movement (PHM); The Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth; Transnational Institute; World March of Women and several national ATTAC organisations, among others.

The Manifesto is important since it is absolutely necessary to put an end to patents on private vaccines. There’s a great urgency, given the critical condition in several countries of the Global South. However, it is also extremely important to go further and raise the issues related to essential services and the vital role played by women. The question of the big pharmaceutical companies occupies a central place, since freeing patents also implies putting the role of “BIG PHARMA” under the scanner. Pharmaceutical companies must be a public service and brought under the control of states and citizens, in order to avoid what is happening today with the shameful policies of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

It is also essential to question debt repayment, since in many countries governments prioritise debt repayment neglecting necessary additional expenditure and investment related to the improvement of public health facilities.

It is necessary to tax the big fortunes and large corporations such as GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) and BIG PHARMA which are making huge profits thanks to the pandemic.

Somehow or other, it is essential for CADTM to take up the initiative, launched after Seattle in 1999, which firmly maintained that “the world is not a commodity”. Health is not a commodity either and “another world is (still) possible”. It is essential to relaunch an alter-globalisation movement and from a strong base, as it happened in 2000/2001.

Other articles in English by CADTM International (53)

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