The Immunisation against COVID-19 as a Global Public Good
Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht/Heidelberg Journal of International Law (Forthcoming)
30 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2021 Last revised: 14 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 8, 2021
Since early 2020, the world has witnessed the emergence and rapid spread of COVID-19 all across the globe. Soon after, the World Health Assembly proclaimed the immunisation against COVID-19 as a Global Public Good in its Resolution WHA 73.1. Implications of the reference to this concept in general and with regard to international law, in particular, are far from settled. This article aims at understanding the concept of Global Public Good and to frame its meaning in the context of immunisation against COVID-19. It will be argued that while it was originated in economics, it carries a normative value with implications for different areas of international law that cascades from the normative concept of Global Public Goods. The Resolution concretises a duty to cooperate in the context of immunisation. It further requires us to think beyond states’ borders and regarding states’ responsibilities and market mechanisms. The article will explore the repercussions on the framework for human rights law, international security law, international economic law and intellectual property rights. The reference to the concept of Global Public Goods provides for an overarching framework in a matter of concern to the international community, which requires us to develop and to provide for international instruments for concrete collective action.
Keywords: COVID-19, Public International Law, Global Public Good, cooperation, Human Rights, Intellectual Property Rights
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