On Friday, January 30th, the WHO Executive Board discussed the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property (GSPA). The discussion covered several documents in relation to the GSPoA, including:
- GSPoA Draft decision proposed by Argentina, Brazil, India, and South Africa
- Evaluation of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property
- Report on financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of decisions proposed for adoption by the Executive Board or Health Assembly
During the discussion, many board members and member states voiced support and spoke of the critical importance of the GSPoA. Brazil began the discussion on the draft decision proposal to extend the GSPoA until 2022 (an extra 7 years) and to assert the need for member states to be included in the evaluation management group. In voicing support for the GSPoA, Brazil highlighted the strategy’s continuing applicability saying that “Brazil believes this strategy is important and that it has unlimited validity, but there had to have a time frame established, that is why we find it important to extend this to 2022.”
The evaluation of the GSPoA, which is to be completed by 2017, was also a topic of much discussion, as countries advocated for member states’ and other stakeholders’ involvement in the evaluation process.
Maldives, speaking on behalf of SEARO, outlined the active role the region has adopted in implementing the GSPoA, having taken up assessment at national and regional level, with Sri Lanka being the only country in the WHO that has taken up full assessment and reporting. The SEARO region stressed that the mechanism of evaluation should be a member state driven process rather than through external consultants, the importance of deadlines, and to ensure the consideration of delinkage in reviews of GSPoA.
While the US affirmed importance of GSPoA, they also offered edits to the proposal, their affirmation in part phrased as “part of reform means to sticking to agreements we agreed like GSPoA.” In the spirit of “the importance of transparency and engagement,” the US proposed edits including the inclusion of WHO Executive Board in the evaluation management group, and “other proposals to draft resolution,” which they neglected to expand upon publicly.
The agenda item was left open, although the Chair did not specify when the discussion would be resumed.