Partnering against pandemics (WTO MC13 side event)

27 February 2024 Abu Dhabi, UAE

27 February 2024


12:00 - 13:30 Abu Dhabi




Abu Dhabi National Convention Centre, NGO Meeting Room 3, near Aloft Hotel Escalators


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At the outset of the pandemic, the life sciences industry made addressing the pandemic its top priority, devoting its resources, expertise, know-how, and intellectual assets to developing potential treatments, diagnostics and vaccines and committed to work in partnership with others at a record pace. The unprecedented nature and scale of the pandemic affirmed the importance of partnerships, to scale up manufacturing, without compromising safety and quality. These collaborations were voluntary, varied and dynamic, requiring close working relationships amongst partners.

At the same time, the pandemic also highlighted bottlenecks, and heightened misperceptions about the complexity of these collaborations, including those relating to technology transfers and licensing models.

On the margins of MC13 in Abu Dhabi, join us for a panel exploring the role of intellectual property to enable voluntary licensing, technology transfer and trade issues to be tackled for better pandemic response.

The event will open with remarks relating the importance of Trade and Health, the work done by WTO during the pandemic and how they worked with industry and Member States and the current debates related to health within the WTO.

Panellists will then discuss the challenges, opportunities and how voluntary licensing can support in better pandemic preparedness.

View the event on the WTO MC13 calendar here.

How to attend?

The event will take place in the Abu Dhabi National Convention Centre, NGO Meeting Room 3 (also called Capital Suite C-21), located near the Aloft Hotel Escalators. It is open to MC13 accredited delegates, including institutional organizations, permanent missions, observers and stakeholders. The event will not be livestreamed. Please use the form below to register your interest in joining and to receive more information about the confirmed speakers, agenda and logistical aspects.

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Antony Taubman Director, Intellectual Property Division, World Trade Organization
Lizzie Wilson IP attaché, UK Permanent Mission to the WTO
Thomas Cueni Director General, IFPMA

Thomas Cueni has led IFPMA since 2017, during which time he has been instrumental in establishing cross sectoral programs designed to tackle the biggest global health challenges.

Thomas has been leading the IFPMA since 2017, during which time he has been instrumental in establishing cross-sectoral programs designed to tackle the biggest global health challenges.

Leading the IFPMA through the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas galvanised the industry to develop the Berlin Declaration – the pharmaceutical industry’s blueprint to deliver equitable access to vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics in future pandemics. Thomas serves as Industry Co-Chair of the APEC Biopharmaceutical Working Group on Ethics. He is also a member of the Business Advisory Group established by the Director General of the World Trade Organization.

Prior to joining IFPMA, Thomas was Secretary General of Interpharma, the trade association representing Switzerland’s research-based pharmaceutical industry; Secretary of the Dolder Group, precursor of what’s now the BCR; and served on the Board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Thomas began his career as a journalist, as London correspondent for the Basler Zeitung and Der Bund, before serving as a Swiss diplomat in Paris (OECD) and Vienna (IAEA, UNIDO).

Thomas has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Basel and another in politics from the London School of Economics. He also studied at the Geneva Graduate Institute for International Studies.

Osman Khalid Waheed CEO, Ferozsons Laboratories Limited

Osman Khalid Waheed is the CEO of Ferozsons Laboratories Limited. He joined the company in 1993 after obtaining his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, USA. He has worked in logistics, sales and marketing before assuming the role of company president in 1999.

During this period, the company expanded its portfolio of medical solutions for critical diseases by forging alliances with a number of leading international partners including the Boston Scientific Inc., USA the world’s leading manufacturer of medical devices, a joint venture with the Bago Group of Argentina to establish BF Biosciences Limited, Pakistan’s first biotech pharmaceutical manufacturing company and Gilead Sciences, Inc. USA for their range of Hepatitis C and anti-viral therapies to name a few.

Mr. Waheed is currently serving on the boards of a number of companies including IGI Insurance, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Murree Brewery, Nestle Pakistan Limited, and has previously served on the boards of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), and as President of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Hemal Shah Senior Director, Intellectual Property & Trade Policy, Government Affairs, Gilead Sciences

Hemal Shah is Senior Director, Intellectual Property & Trade Policy, Government Affairs at Gilead Sciences Inc., focusing on international intellectual property (IP), trade and supply chain policy. Most recently, she served as director for emerging markets at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), focusing on India, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia. She also led the U.S.- India Business Council’s advocacy efforts in trade facilitation and supply chain policy.