The United States’ offer to least developed countries of a 10-year transition period to grant pharmaceutical patents is “unconscionable and indefensible”, according to six influential US non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
In a letter dated 19 October to President Barack Obama, the NGOs conveyed this strong criticism in view of the public health and other developmental challenges facing least developed countries (LDCs).
The letter states, “We fail to understand why the US, alone, continues to oppose LDCs’ demand – a legally sound and justified request for a pharmaceutical transition period for as long as they remain LDCs”.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up