[Ip-health] Latest Chair’s Draft Issued On Future Of WHO And IP, Innovation

Judit Rius Sanjuan judit.rius at keionline.org
Thu May 20 11:51:39 PDT 2010


Intellectual Property Watch
20 May 2010

Latest Chair’s Draft Issued On Future Of WHO And IP, Innovation

By William New	 @ 7:10 pm
The latest draft is now available from the Swiss chair overseeing a small side group at the World Health Assembly trying to work out how to take forward a landmark initiative within the UN agency on innovation and intellectual property rights. It shows that countries negotiating the WHO’s next step on the sensitive topic are leaning toward establishment of a new group with more government involvement this time around.

The group made up of interested parties is meeting again this evening to discuss the chair’s draft and try to move closer to consensus. The chair’s draft characterises emerging proposals within the group.

Alternatives have been offered within the text from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Australia, and Thailand, according to participants. The group has been meeting periodically since being set up by a WHA committee on Tuesday. The Assembly runs from 17-22 May, so most committee will wrap up tomorrow.

The latest, 20 May draft is available here.

The earlier 19 May draft is available here.

In the texts, brackets show areas of no agreement. UNASUR has sought to establish a “consultative working group” to take forward the work of the past year’s Expert Working Group. Others have proposed a new Expert Working Group but with more involvement of governments in the selection of the experts. There has been concern among developing countries that the past year’s group consisted of experts leaning toward developed country brand-name industry. But an earlier proposal from UNASUR to create an intergovernmental working group has been moved into the annex of the chair’s paper.

It appears to be agreed that the new group would be able to consider proposals that were left out of the past year’s expert group.

In the UNASUR proposal, subregional and regional groups could work through proposals in consultations.

Also, more information is requested on how the past year’s group arrived at its recommendations, coming from the Australian proposal according to one participant.

For the past year an expert working group has worked on the issue, culminating in a report that was subsequently criticised by a number of developing countries as well as public health advocates. The UNASUR countries and others called for a new approach on the issue, pressing for an intergovernmental working group with a limited timeframe and mandate, but this was met with some resistance, leading to the formation of the small informal group in the margins of this week’s WHA (IPW, WHO, 18 May 2010).

Judit Rius Sanjuan
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
NYC Phone: 212 222 5180
Washington DC Phone: 202 332 2670

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