[Ip-health] Intervention of the South Centre at EB134 expressing solidarity with the Republic of South Africa (English translation)

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri Jan 24 08:51:33 PST 2014


Intervention of the South Centre at EB134 expressing solidarity with the
Republic of South Africa (English translation)

   Submitted by thiru <http://keionline.org/user/6> on 24. January 2014 -

This is the English translation of the intervention delivered by the South
Centre on Thursday, 23 January 2014 at the 134th session of the World
Health Organization's Executive Board expressing solidarity with the
Government of the Republic of South Africa following the Pharmagate exposé.

Thank you, Madam President, for giving us the floor.

Since the South Centre is taking the floor before the WHO’s Executive Board
for the first time in its capacity as an observer, first of all we would
like to thank the Member Countries for enabling the participation of the
South Centre as an observer in the WHO’s governing bodies. *

Attending the deliberations of the Executive Board and the World Health
Assembly will help us pursuing our aim of providing developing countries
with technical assistance in the areas of health and development.

Since our remarks take place in the context of the current situation in
South Africa as has been expressed by the Representative of this country in
the Executive Board, we wish to express our strong support to the efforts
made by the Government of South Africa to improve access to medicines,
particularly to the ongoing work undertaken to review its intellectual
property legislation in order to integrate public health concerns into
pharmaceutical patent examination.

Fourteen years ago, in the Executive Board, developing countries and some
developed countries supported the Government of South Africa when 39
pharmaceutical companies brought a court case against the South African
Government over the terms of its Medicines Act. History seems to be
repeating itself. Therefore, a message of support from this leading
authority on health issues to the Government of South Africa on its ongoing
reform to their Patents Act would be welcome.

The South Centre supports developing countries making use of their right to
incorporate all the flexibilities contained in the WTO TRIPS Agreement in
their intellectual property legislation and implement them in order to
ensure the access of all peoples to necessary medicines.

Many thanks

* WHA Res. 66/46 approving the establishment of official relations between
the WHO and South Centre.

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