Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe)
World Health Organization (WHO)
C.i Paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health
134. The representative of the WHO welcomed the attention and concern shown for the health sector by WTO Members and to access to essential medicines in particular. He recalled that the Declaration affirmed that the TRIPS Agreement "can and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO Members' right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all". He said that this marked a watershed in international trade and demonstrated that a rules-based trading system should be compatible with public health interests. The Declaration enshrined the principle that the WHO had publicly advocated and advanced over the previous four years, namely, the re affirmation of the right of WTO Members to make full use of the safeguard provisions of the TRIPS Agreement in order to protect public health and promote access to medicines. The WHO would continue to advise countries on the implications of globalization on public health and access to medicines, as mandated by relevant World Health Assembly resolutions. Furthermore, the WHO is assessing and would continue to assess the implications of the Declaration as they related to access to medicines. It would continue to advise its member states, upon their request, on the implementation of the Declaration into national legislation which affected access to medicines. The WHO offered to support the WTO and the Council, in whatever way they deemed appropriate, including the Declaration's instruction in paragraph 6.