Health rights, fair trade, and anti-poverty activists gave US trade representative Robert Zoellick a rousing”send-off” demonstration one week before the World Trade Organization meeting in Qatar yesterday outside theWashington, DC offices of the US Trade Representative.
Health activists with ACT UP and HEALTH GAP connect HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson’s decision not to break Bayer’spatent monopoly on the anthrax drug Cipro and Zoellick’s WTO negotiating with a systematic Administration policy ofvaluing patent monopolies of drug companies more than human lives.
A central controversy in the WTO Ministerial negotiations is a declaration crafted by more than 50 poor WTO membercountries on access to AIDS and other life-extending drugs, public health, and patent rights. Demonstrators say thatZoellick’s unyielding opposition to ratification at Qatar is said to have derailed negotiations for the declarationaltogether.
- Thea Lee, Assistant Director for International Economics, AFL-CIO.
- Chatinkha C Nkhoma, Co-Founder, Global AIDS Alliance.