WHO Board Sends Trade And Health Resolution To Assembly For Vote27/01/2006 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.The World Health Organisation Executive Board this week agreed on a resolution linking health to international trade issues, and will forward it on to the World Health Assembly in May for final adoption.The resolution was agreed to by an informal consultation group, open to all member states, on 24 January and the board approved it on 25 January, according to sources. No major changes were made to the draft circulated at the outset of the meeting. It now has to be voted on by the assembly in order to be adopted.The draft resolution, which was led by Thailand, was discussed at the previous board meeting in May 2005 where comments were made, including some critical ones, resulting in more than a dozen amendments (IPW, Public health, 27 May 2005). On 1 December 2005, the secretariat issued a new draft incorporating proposed insertions and alternative text based on these comments. A WHO expert said that most members had viewed the resolution positively last time and in general, this was a “very positive resolution.”The final agreed resolution, not yet available online, urges member states “to promote dialogue at national level to consider the interplay between international trade and health.”The aim is thus to “strengthen the capacity of ministers of health to better work with ministers of trade,” the WHO expert said, so that they could get to the table with ministers of trade and bring evidence showing opportunities or risks with public health.The expert added that the agreement would give the WHO a “stronger mandate” to work on issues of international trade and health.In the resolution, member states are urged in paragraph 1(2), “to adopt, where necessary, policies, laws and regulations that address issues identified in that dialogue and take advantage of potential opportunities, and meet the potential challenges, that trade and trade agreements may have for health.”In this paragraph, “where necessary” was added and the proposed “consider adopting” was deleted. Moreover, the phrase “potential risks [impacts]” from the 1 December draft was replaced by “potential challenges.”In paragraph 1(5) member states are urged to “continue to develop at national level to track and analyse the potential opportunities and challenges of trade and trade agreements for health-sector performance and health outcomes.” Here the previously suggested phrase “risks [analyse the implications]” was replaced by “challenges.”When the draft resolution was discussed in May 2005 Australia took issue with the word “risk” and proposed it be replaced by “impacts.” In general, the new draft resolution replaces the word “risk” with “challenges.”Dropped was a proposed insertion in the 1 December draft requesting the director general to “provide support to member states, at their request and in collaboration with the competent international organizations, to frame coherent trade and health policies and support their efforts to build the capacity to understand the implications of international trade and trade agreements for health and to address relevant issues through policies and legislation that take full advantage of the potential opportunities, and address the implications, that trade and trade agreements may have for health.”The resolution does still request, however, that the director general “report through the Executive Board to the Sixty-first World Health Assembly on progress made in implementing this resolution.” The 59th assembly will take place 22-27 May 2006.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"WHO Board Sends Trade And Health Resolution To Assembly For Vote" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.