WHO Online Consultations On IP Working Group Begin Next Week27/10/2006 by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen for Intellectual Property Watch 1 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)IP-Watch and its Global Health Policy News are non-profit independent news services and depend on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.[Editor’s Note: This story was modified shortly after publication to reflect the WHO reply on meeting participation.] By Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the dates for online consultations on the working group on public health, innovation and intellectual property from 1 to 15 November, it said today.“WHO encourages individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties to contribute to the open hearings between 1 and 15 November,” the WHO said in a press release.During this time it will be possible to give one’s opinion about the WHO inter-governmental working group that was mandated by the World Health Assembly in May (IPW, Public Health, 2 October 2006).Its mandate is to come up with a “global strategy” and “plan of action” for how research and development into medicines for diseases “predominantly affecting poor populations” may be improved, the WHO said.A website has been set up for the consultation, through which contributions may be submitted in any of the six official languages of the United Nations, the WHO said. These are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.The website is: http://igwg.who.int/phi/. It also will be possible to fax contributions to the WHO at: +41 22 791 48 89. “Contributors are encouraged to provide a summary of their comments, which must not exceed 500 words,” the press release said.The contributions will be compiled and reflected in a document to be forwarded to the first official meeting of the working group, which is scheduled for 4-8 December, the WHO said. This means that the secretariat will have little more than two weeks to prepare the document and translate it into the six languages required.Who Will Be Let In?The 4-8 December meeting of the intergovernmental working group (IWG), which will be held in Geneva, will attract government officials but according to the resolution from the Health Assembly, the WHO also will invite:“ … as observers at the sessions of the intergovernmental working group, representatives of non-member states, of liberation movements …, of organisations of the United Nations system, of intergovernmental organisations with which WHO has established effective relations, and of non-governmental organizations in official relations with WHO.”The resolution also states that “experts and a limited number of concerned public and private entities,” will also be invited to attend.Some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that do not have “official relations with WHO” have expressed concern that they might not be able to attend the December meeting, pointing to the fact that it is time-consuming and difficult to obtain such a status, sources said.In the lead-up to the December meeting, the European Union was to meet to discuss the issue, a source said.WHO clarifies meeting participationWHO spokesperson Daniela Bagozzi said: “The web-based public hearings are a tool NGOs not in official relations with WHO can use to provide input into the process. It is expected that the sessions of the IWG, unless otherwise decided by the IWG, will take place in public. Individuals or organisations wishing to follow the debates may do so from the public gallery. Public badges can be requested from the registration desk to be set up at the International Conference Centre Geneva (ICCG) (17 rue de Varembé, Geneva, Switzerland). Badges will be issued on a daily basis.The documents prepared for the IWG will, when they become available, be posted on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/. From the homepage, scroll down to the box headed “Governance”, click on the link and thereafter follow the relevant link for the documentation. During the session there will be a documents service at the ICCG and members of the public holding a badge may request relevant documents.Alternatively when NGOs are members of, or have a close link with, one of the invited NGOs, they may wish to contact the NGO to explore the possibility of being a member of the NGO’s delegation to the IWG.”Tove Gerhardsen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.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 Online Consultations On IP Working Group Begin Next Week" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.