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Pandemic agreement divides countries and threatens failure;  Brazil proposes exit

Pandemic agreement divides countries and threatens failure; Brazil proposes exit

With positions so far apart and no signs of flexibility on the part of any of the groups, the proposal is to announce a preliminary agreement and commit all member states to continue negotiations for another year or two.

Emerging countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Botswana, led by Brazil, have spent the past few weeks consulting in their capitals, proposing this “exit” to avoid a breakdown in negotiations.

Diplomats claim that due to the division between the two countries, there are only two real options left on the table: either admit failure and end the procedures, or announce a preliminary agreement, with an automatic and binding commitment on the part of all countries to continue negotiations. The duration will be under negotiation, but four different sources said the idea would be a one- or two-year extension.

Brazilian negotiators compare the proposal to creating a law that, after its enactment, would require the issuance of decrees to regulate it.

But even this option faces resistance. African governments, which claim to be the most affected by technological disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic, insist that they need a full agreement that guarantees technology transfer or wider access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.

Emerging countries, especially in Africa, claim that extending negotiations will only benefit those who want to maintain the status quo.

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