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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the COVID 19 pandemic situation in Latin America

27.4.2021 - (2021/2645(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Anna Cavazzini, Ignazio Corrao, Francisco Guerreiro, Yannick Jadot, Sara Matthieu, Hannah Neumann, Manuela Ripa, Michèle Rivasi, Mounir Satouri, Jordi Solé, Ernest Urtasun
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0239/2021

Proċedura : 2021/2645(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on on the COVID 19 pandemic situation in Latin America


The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the Covid outbreak,


- having regard to Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


  1. Whereas the outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCov) that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).


  1. Whereas the outbreak is hitting Latin America particularly hard, with over registered 700,000 deaths due to the coronavirus in the region[1].


  1. Whereas the subcontinent has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemics as the region is coping with a strong surge in new cases since several weeks and the health system in several countries experiencing a critical situation of near collapsed capacities.


  1. Whereas the Covid pandemic is having significant impacts especially on Brazil, which is the second country in the world in terms of total deaths due to the virus, namely over 380,000 deaths as of late April 2021[2], with a daily average of deaths due to Covid of over 3,000 for several of the past weeks and a daily record reached on 8 April when 4.249 deaths were registered in just one day.


  1. Whereas the highly contagious Brazil variant of the coronavirus is thought to have originated in the Amazonas state in late 2020 and is spreading through Latin America as well as the rest of the world[3]. Whereas the Brazilian state of Amazonas entered into a humanitarian crisis in early 2021 as hospitals collapsed and a lack of oxygen led to thousands of deaths.
  2. Whereas WHO has reported that biodiversity loss is a driver of zoonotic pathogens such as COVID-19 and biodiversity is declining in the region and globally at unprecedented rates in human history;


  1. Whereas more than 1,040 indigenous people have died from Covid in Brazil so far and over 50,000 cases of Covid have been confirmed among indigenous people, affecting 163 different tribes[4].


  1. Whereas the Brazilian public health system is considered to be experiencing the biggest sanitary and hospital collapse in the country’s history[5], with ICUs in 25 out of 27 of Brazil’s capitals at more than 80% capacity and with hospitals across the entire country experiencing severe shortages of oxygen and sedatives.


  1. Whereas the pandemic in Brazil is not only a health crisis but is also leading to significant social and human rights consequences, with the number of Brazilians living in poverty having tripled[6] and 19 million Brazilians having gone hungry[7] due to the pandemic.
  2. Whereas an analysis by the renowned University of Sao Paulo[8] of federal legal acts and measures has evidenced the existence of a systematic strategy for the spread of the Covid virus in the hands of the Brazilian Federal Government.


  1. Whereas the Brazilian Supreme Court of Justice in April 2021 ordered the Senate to launch an investigation of the Brazilian government’s handling of the pandemic and the Brazilian Senate officially launched its investigation on 13 April 2021.


  1. Expresses its solidarity with the Latin American people in this crisis, mourns all the victims of the epidemic, and sends its condolences to the families of the victims that have died;


  1. Is alarmed by the fact that several countries in the region are largely behind schedule as regards originally planned deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines by the COVAX initiative; points out that countries such as Brazil have only received about 1/10 of the expected deliveries and Mexico has not received any single dose, as the two countries are among the most affected in the world; 


  1. Notes that according to the WHO several countries in the region have COVID-19 vaccines potential production capacities could be scaled up subject to technology transfers;


  1. Strongly regrets that so far, none of the pharmaceutical companies producing such vaccines have shared their technology, know-how and research results with the C-TAP (COVID-19 Technology Access Pool) multilateral initiative, pointing out thereby to the insufficiency of voluntary and industry-controlled approaches;
  2. Is deeply concerned about the findings of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism investigation on Pfizer negotiations with Latin American governments, according to which the company asked some countries to put their sovereign assets, including embassy buildings and military bases, as collateral against the cost of possible future legal cases;


  1. Emphasizes that the ongoing sanitary emergency in the Latin America illustrates the need to urgently foster at the WTO level as a part of the ‘Health and Trade initiative’ in the twelfth Ministerial Conference, as well as at the next WHO general assembly, multilateral arrangements including a Treaty on Pandemics; underlines that such arrangements should encompass in a one hand, a needs oriented ‘demand-side’ approach providing joint financing and globally coordinated advance purchases, and on the other hand, an integrated ‘supply side’ strategy for scaling-up the whole value-chain, built on open-science, non-exclusive global voluntary licensing and binding mechanisms for technology transfers; Is of the opinion that the EU can and should unilaterally contribute to such endeavour by making sure that future advanced purchase agreements, in particular for next generation vaccines are fully disclosed and integrate binding provisions as regards non-exclusive global licensing, patent pools, know-how, trade secrets, proprietary data and technology transfers;


  1. Expresses its high esteem of the service of medical workers in the region under the high pressures and risks of the coronavirus threat;


  1. Stresses that the vaccination campaign in Brazil needs to be strengthened and accelerated; in this context praises the domestic production by the public health institute Butantan and the Brazilian public health system overall which despite its underfunding has been fundamental in the current relative success of Brazil’s vaccination campaign, under which over 17% of Brazilians have already received the first dose;


  1. Deplores and condemns the actions of the Brazilian government under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro and his refusal to adopt evidence-based public health measures to contain and combat the coronavirus; Further deplores the Brazilian President’s ongoing downplaying of the severity of the virus, his encouragement of gatherings of people throughout the entire pandemic, his public statements against vaccination and against mask wearing, as well as his promotion of the use of drugs which have been proven to be ineffective against Covid;


  1.   Is particularly concerned about the fact that the federal government obstructed Brazil’s vaccination campaign by ignoring the vaccine offers from pharmaceutical companies made in 2020, by delaying regulatory approval and by failing to implement a plan to secure the inputs needed for domestic production;


  1.   Condemns Bolsonaro’s ongoing attempts to obstruct local responses, including his attempt in March 2021 to legally challenge the decisions of three governors who had temporarily suspended commercial activities in order to curb the spread of the virus[9];


  1.   Considers that the Brazilian government has failed to ensure the right to health, including access to health care, and social protection for all peoples;


  1.   Stresses that beyond a health crisis, the pandemic is also having enormous social and human rights consequences; expresses its deep concern that the pandemic is exacerbating poverty and food insecurity in Brazil; emphasizes the need to address existing inequalities and to ensure accountability for violations committed under the cover of the pandemic;


  1.   Stresses that landowners, loggers and other perpetrators have taken advantage of the pandemic and the anti-democratic atmosphere in Brazil to attack human rights defenders[10];


  1.   Deplores that the Brazilian President’s ongoing denial of the gravity of the pandemic and his disastrous handling has also exacerbated human rights violations; considers that the Brazilian government has failed to mitigate the social and economic consequences of Covid on groups in vulnerable situations, such as low-income communities, women, LGBTI people, residents of favelas, Indigenous Peoples and Quilombola communities;


  1.   Expresses its deep concern when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples, who have not been adequately protected by the Brazilian authorities and who have an estimated fatality rate under Covid up to seven times higher than the Brazilian average overall[11];


  1.   Stresses that black people in Brazil are more likely to die from Covid than white Brazilians[12] and that it is estimated that twice as many white Brazilians have been vaccinated compared to black Brazilians[13]; highlights that rollout vaccination plans should be based on medical and scientific criteria, irrespective of ethnicity or physical location;


  1.   Expresses its concern that violence against women in Brazil has increased during the pandemic[14];


  1.   Calls on Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro to follow scientific advice and start implementing a science-based approach to managing the pandemic with a matter of utter urgency;


  1.   Urges the Brazilian authorities to urgently follow WHO advice and promote the wearing of masks, physical distancing, strict hygiene measures and the restriction of non-essential movement and activities when necessary;


  1.   Calls on Brazilian authorities to put in place measures to address the disproportionate impacts the pandemic is having on black Brazilians, women, LGBTI people, indigenous peoples, human rights defenders and other vulnerable groups;


  1.   Highlights the scientific evidence on the role of biodiversity loss due to climate change, global land use changes, invasive alien species, overexploitation of resources and pollution;


  1.   Endorses the call of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and the UN Independent Expert on human rights and foreign debt[15] towards the Brazilian authorities to immediately drop austerity policies that are endangering lives and to increase spending to combat inequality and poverty exacerbated by the pandemic;


  1.   Calls on the European Commission, the European External Action Service and EU Member States to provide support to the Brazilian authorities, in the form of medical supplies such as oxygen and sedatives, medical equipment as well as vaccine doses;


  1.   Calls on the European Commission, the European External Action Service and EU Member States to cooperate with the Brazilian authorities and to provide support to the UN and NGOs towards the protection of indigenous peoples and Human rights defenders in Brazil in the context of the pandemic;


  1.   Is convinced that no link can be made between aid to solve the COVID crisis and other political aims, such as the stop of migration, and condemns the US reaction to the Mexican demand of more aid for COVID vaccines, conditioning this step to the Mexican withdrawal from guaranteeing humane detention for refugees coming from Central America and aiming to reach the USA;


  1.   Urges the EU and its Member States to support the proposal put forward at the World Trade Organisation for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights under the TRIPS agreement when it comes to COVID vaccines and medicines and insist on a constructive dialogue on such proposal; Calls on the EU to request at the TRIPS Council level to start text based negotiations ahead of the MC 12 for addressing without delay global production constraints and supply shortages;


  1.   Welcomes the Commission’s intention to present a legislative proposal in Spring 2021

that will prohibit the placing of products associated with deforestation or forest

degradation from the EU market and calls on the Commission to adopt a moratorium on

imports of wild animals from reported emerging infectious disease hotspots;


  1.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and the Parliament of Brazil and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.





Aġġornata l-aħħar: 27 ta' April 2021
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