Legal Committee


Sonali Weerasinghe
Sri Lanka

Cite as

The Republic of Austria – Position Paper

Team UNSW (Legal Committee): Eleni Brooks and Sonali Weerasinghe

Topic A: Intellectual Property Rights and HIV/AIDS Medication

The magnitude of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic is amplified by the high price of its life-saving medicine, including antiretroviral treatment (ART). The Republic of Austria recognizes that this price increase is due, in part, to strong existing international intellectual property protections. While Austria acknowledges the multifaceted nature of this contentious debate, at the crux, all competing stakeholders should share a common goal of protecting human lives. This objective should serve as the backbone of this debate, in which a serious attempt must be made to balance our humanitarian instinct to save lives and the safeguarding of universal intellectual property values as well as the sustainability of pharmaceutical companies.

As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Union (EU), Austria has ratified the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and enshrines intellectual property principles domestically under the Patents Act 1970. In regards to the Doha declaration, Austria indicated its intention to not be considered as an importer of pharmaceutical products, even in times of national emergencies. While Austria is not one of the most HIV/AIDS affected countries, it is estimated that betw...