sexta-feira, maio 27, 2005

Boa intervenção de Portugal na OMS

On Thursday, 26 May 2005, the 116th Session of the WHO Executive Board discussed a paper prepared by the WHO Secretariat on International trade and health (EB116/4) which can be found on the following link:

Thailand, along with the governments of Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Nepal, Sudan, Tonga and Viet Nam (all members of the WHO Executive Board) tabled a resolution entitled "International trade and health" (EB116/Conf. Paper No.1, 27 May 2005) which will be discussed today.

Here are some informal notes from yesterday's session:
Portugal (José Pereira Miguel): Implementation of the Doha Declaration has been slow. We need more policy coherence between health and trade as the Secretariat paper states.

Namibia: Anti-retrovirals are life saving medications. Medicines should not be subject to the same rules as other commodities. TRIPs flexibilities and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health are important. We have great concern that the WTO was unable to find a permanent solution to the Paragraph 6 problem of the Doha Declaration. There needs to be more collaboration between the WHO and WTO and more collaboration between health and trade ministries.

Iceland: This report is a big step forward. We need more cooperation between policy makers in these sectors. We are like children at the hands of big corporations. They divide us into regions where they set the price. WHO's work should not overlap with already existing work.

Czech Republic: We are inspired by a particular aspect of the intervention of Portugal. Paragraph 17 of the document talks about cooperation with other international agencies. As a former minister of health, I can tell you we have had a very bad experience with the World Bank. They called for health sector reform but only consulted with the Ministry of Finance but not with the Ministry of Health. Their advice resulted in lower coverage and other negative externalities. WHO needs to speak with a stronger voice on public health issues.

Interventions by WHO Member States not on the Executive Board:
USA: We do not share the enthusiasm shown by other countries toward the Secretariat document on trade and health. Its analysis is superficial. We have real concerns about the nature of WHO's technical assistance activities. There is a perception that WHO's advice is anti-industry, anti-free trade, and anti-intellectual property.

Chair (Pakistan): WHO should not shy away from advising Member States. Much mention was made of international free trade. What we need is international fair trade. We do need a more humane approach to dealing with this issue; we face the risk of creating a "Fourth World", the poorest of the poor, if we are not careful.

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