World Health Organization (WHO)

Research Paper 78, July 2017

Intellectual Property, Public Health and Access to Medicines in International Organizations

This South Centre research paper by Dr. German Velasquez describes and analyses the mandate, programmes, strategies, and activities that different international organizations such as WHO, WTO, WIPO, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNAIDS, the UN Human Rights Council, and the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel (UNHLP) on access to medicines have undertaken on the subject of access to medicines, intellectual property, international trade rules and human rights.


Statement, May 2017

South Centre Statement to the 10th NAM Health Ministerial

Below is a statement made by the South Centre’s Deputy Executive Director Vicente Paolo B. Yu III during the meeting of the Ministers of health of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Geneva on 23 May 2017 in conjunction with the World Health Assembly.


Research Paper 77, May 2017

Access to Hepatitis C Treatment: A Global Problem

“Viral hepatitis is an international public health challenge, comparable to other major communicable diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Despite the significant burden it places on communities across all global regions, hepatitis has been largely ignored as a health and development priority until recently”. – WHO, Global Health Sector strategy on viral Hepatitis 2016-2021: Towards ending viral hepatitis


SC Side Event to WHA70, 24 May 2017

Title:              Impact of the recommendations of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines: Discussion in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Date:              Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 18:00-19:30

Venue:           Room 7, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Organizers:  The South Centre, Morocco, Bolivia, India, Uganda, Venezuela, UNSG HLP A2M, PPD


SC Side Event to the 70th WHA, 22 May 2017

Title:            Responding to the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance

                        Perspectives of Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organisations and Developing Countries

Date:              22 May 2017, 17:45-18:45

Venue:           Palais des Nations (Salle IX)

Organizers:   The South Centre,  MSF Access Campaign, DNDi, hai, Medicus Mundi International Network, ReAct


Policy Brief 39, May 2017

Highlights of the WHO Executive Board: 140th Session

The World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest body of the World Health Organization, will be meeting from 22-31 May 2017.

Earlier in January, the Executive Board of the WHO met and discussed on various strategic issues that will be carried forward to the WHA.

In this light, the South Centre has prepared a timely summary report in the form of a policy brief of the discussions that took place at the EB, to assist delegates and other stakeholders in their preparation for the discussions in the WHA.


South Centre Conference, 13 February 2017

Title:              Briefing for Developing Countries on Global Trends and Linkages to Geneva Multilateral    


Date:              Monday, 13 February 2017, 9:30-13:00

Venue:           Room XXIV, Palais des Nations

Organizer:   The South Centre


Policy Brief 29, September 2016

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenges for Developing Countries

On 21 September 2016,  a High Level Meeting was held on antimicrobial resistance at the sides of the United Nations General Assembly. It was followed by the adoption of a political declaration. This declaration paves the way for new coordinated actions on antimicrobial resistance backed by higher political commitment, on the basis of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAP) of the World Health Organization (WHO).  (more…)

SC Side Event to the 24th WIPO SCP, 29 June 2016

Title:              Patents and Public Health: Exploring Options for Future Work in the WIPO

Date:              29 June 2016, 13:00-14:45

Venue:           WIPO, Room B

Organizer:   South Centre (more…)

Book by the South Centre, 2016

Public Health Perspective on Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines, A compilation of studies prepared for WHO


Bk_2016_Public Health Perspective on IP and Access to Medicines_EN_001About the book: The purpose of this book is to facilitate the elaboration of national health policies and strategies to improve access to medicines, using fully the flexibilities allowed by the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. It includes documents of the WHO written by Professor Carlos Correa and published between 1997 and 2009. As consultant to WHO, Professor Correa helped to initiate and formulate WHO policy perspectives and to provide advice to Member States on intellectual property issues relating to the production, distribution and use of medicines. The content of this book illustrates the pioneer role that WHO played in identifying the public health implications of the binding rules introduced by the TRIPS Agreement.

Author: Carlos M. Correa is Special Advisor on Intellectual Property and Trade of the South Centre.

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Book by the South Centre, 2015

The WHO “Red Book” on Access to Medicines and Intellectual Property – 20 Years Later


Bk_2015_WHO Red Book_EN_001About the book: The publication in 1998 by the WHO’s Essential Drugs Department of the document “Globalization and Access to Drugs: Implications of the WTO/TRIPS Agreement” marked a point in time in the movement to ensure access to essential medicines for all. The publication, often referred to as ‘the WHO red book’, marked the beginning of an international policy process to address the issue of innovation and access to essential medicines. It triggered a series of reactions from the pharmaceutical industry, the US Government and the WTO, reproaching WHO for stepping out of its role. In light of these attacks, the then Director General of WHO decided to send the document to be revised by three independent academics specializing in intellectual property. The letters and documents criticizing the WHO publication as well as the review by the three international experts are reproduced in this book.

Authors: Germán Velásquez and Pascale Boulet

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