03/2021 SIEL Conversation

At the outset of the COVID pandemic, the WHO, the UN and indeed leaders of countries across the world called for solidarity and cooperation on measures to stem the spread of the virus. Yet, while committing to work with UN-led initiatives such as COVAX, ostensibly aimed at the equitable and science-led approach to global vaccine distribution, the richer countries might have actively undermined such collective processes by practising vaccine nationalism. Vaccine nationalism describes the actions of governments that sign agreements with pharmaceutical companies to supply their own populations in a manner that reduces equitable access for others, often leading to forms of vaccine apartheid between countries. This situation has alarmed the UN Secretary-General, who recently stated that vaccine nationalism is a barrier to defeating COVID-19 and stressed that this could only be done through international cooperation.

Title: Managing Trade, Health and Equitable Access to Medicines during a Global Pandemic

Moderator: Gabrielle Marceau, Senior Counsellor in the Research Division (ERSD) of the WTO Secretariat


  • Fatima Hassan, Head and Founder – Health Justice Initiative
  • James Bacchus, Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs and Director, Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity, University of Central Florida
  • Brook K. Baker, Professor – Northeastern U. School of Law, Honorary Research Fellow – University of KwaZulu Natal, Senior Policy Analyst – Health GAP (Global Access Project)


Date:  The event is scheduled for Thursday 18th March 2021 at the following times and more information can be found here:

  • 9 am Boston time
  • 2 pm Brussels time
  • 3 pm Cape Town time
  • 4 pm Antananarivo time
  • 4:30 pm Tehran time
  • 7:30 pm Nay Pyi Taw
  • 8 pm Bangkok time