[Ip-health] Statement of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Report of the High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Nov 22 11:37:03 PST 2016


22 NOVEMBER 2016


Universal Access to Medicines, Technologies Essential for Human Well-being,
Secretary-General Says, Encouraging Compliance with Health Panel’s Findings

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the report of
the High-level Panel on Access to Medicines — “Promoting Innovation and
Access to Health Technologies”, in New York today:

Despite great scientific progress, all countries, from the poorest to the
most prosperous, are facing challenges related to the costs of many
medicines, diagnostics, medical devices and vaccines.  Since rising costs
of health technologies can push people into poverty, we have a shared duty
to find solutions to ensure access to these technologies for all.

Soon after Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development, I convened an independent High-level Panel on Access to
Medicines to “recommend solutions for remedying the policy incoherence
between the justifiable rights of inventors, international human rights
law, trade rules and public health in the context of health technologies”.

After an extensive and inclusive enquiry, the Panel released its report in
September with a simple yet powerful message:  no one should suffer because
they cannot afford medicines, diagnostics, medical devices or vaccines.
The report makes recommendations to Governments, international
organizations, industry, civil society and other stakeholders.  The report
addresses the relationship between intellectual property, access to health
technologies, incentives for research and development and the opportunities
to strengthen governance, accountability and transparency.  It also serves
as an important reminder of our duty to not only respect, but to protect
and fulfil the highest attainable right to health.

I thank the High-level Panel for producing this important and timely
report.  I also wish to convey my appreciation to the Co-chairs, Ruth
Dreifuss, former President of the Switzerland, and Festus Gontebanye Mogae,
former President of Botswana, for their stewardship.  I would also like to
acknowledge the important contributions of the Expert Advisory Group,
chaired by the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby of Australia.  Finally, I
extend my appreciation to the secretariat of the High-level Panel, led by
the United Nations Development Programme, working in close collaboration
with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.  I learned with
sadness of the recent and untimely passing of a member of the High-level
Panel secretariat, Katie Kirk.  I extend my condolences to her family and

I welcome the findings of this consensus report, including the individual
commentaries by members, as a milestone in our ongoing dialogue and our
quest for sustainable solutions.  I encourage all stakeholders to review
the report and its recommendations, taking into account existing
international agreements and publications on this essential matter.  In
this regard, I further encourage all stakeholders to chart a way forward in
appropriate fora to ensure access to medicines and health technologies for
all who need them, wherever they are.  This will represent a tremendous
step towards meeting the right to the highest attainable standard of
health, as well as Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives
and promote the well-being of all people of all ages, everywhere.

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