[Ip-health] EB140: Intervention by India on Agenda Item 7.1 - Research and development for potentially epidemic diseases

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Jan 26 20:35:53 PST 2017


Permanent Mission of India


Intervention by India on Agenda Item 7.1 - Research and development for
potentially epidemic diseases at the 140th Session of the Meeting of the
Executive Board of WHO Delivered by Dr. Sumit Seth, First Secretary on 24
January 2017

Mr. Chair

In the aftermath of the Ebola and Zika crises, discussions on global
emergency response have come to dominate the global health agenda. The
Interim Ebola Panel, the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Global
Response to Health Crises, the DG’s Advisory Group on Emergencies and the
2015 IHR Review Committee have intensively scrutinised the role played by
WHO and has called for urgent strengthening of WHO’s capacities to respond
to emergencies.

The 69th World Health Assembly endorsed the Blue print for a new WHO
Emergency Programme which aims to put in place a single line of command,
single budget, single cadre of staff, single set of business processes and
performance benchmarks across all three levels of the organization to deal
with health emergencies. As a result WHO has assumed the role of an
operational agency, in addition to its traditional norms and standards
setting role. Member States need to do a careful assessment of the
implications of such role redefinition, including its impact on the budget.

India is of the view that there should be policy coherence between the R&D
blueprint for action to prevent pandemics and the broader WHO R&D agenda.
Health R&D should be needs-driven and evidence-based and be guided by the
core principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and equity.
India would like to request that WHO Secretariat should organise more
frequent public consultations concerning activities of the R&D blueprint
for action on pandemics, and all interested WHO member States should be
invited to participate. In addition, the composition of the scientific and
other advisory expert groups should ensure adequate representation from low
and middle-income countries.

We would like to have more clarity and details about the proposed public
health financial model for supporting research and product development on
emerging pathogens prioritized in WHO’s Blueprint process. We are concerned
that the report by the Secretariat on a blueprint for research and
development preparedness and rapid research response does not explicitly
recognize the principle of delinking of price of products from cost of
research as an essential component of this model.

Mr. Chair

India has made significant financial contributions to the global Ebola
response to the tune of USD 12.1 million. We have also cosponsored and
constructively contributed to the WHO Executive Board’s Special Session
resolution on Ebola two years back which initiated the process of reforming
WHO’s role and capacities in emergencies. India would like to see that in
the new WHO Emergency Programme, developing country perspectives are
adequately reflected. India supports a strong and well equipped WHO that is
capable of leading the global response to all health emergencies. However,
we would like to see India’s concerns regarding specific operational
elements be taken on board.

Mr. Chair

Before concluding let me take this opportunity to inform that Consistent
with India’s priority on health R&D, we have recently joined a new
multi-stakeholder innovative partnership called the Coalition for Epidemic
Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) to accelerate the development of vaccines
for emerging infectious diseases. The CEPI Partnership was officially
launched in the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos. We
believe that there is a need to closely align CEPI with WHO Emergency R&D
Blue Print and suitably address issues related to de-linkage, access and
Intellectual Property.

Thank you.

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