RC72 Agenda Item 6: Strengthening health emergency preparedness, response and resilience: learning the lessons and building back better

Stichting Health Action International welcomes the opportunity to address the 72nd European Regional Committee (RC72) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Regarding the discussions on preparedness and resilience under agenda item 6, we  welcome  the acknowledgement of some of the policy recommendations issued by the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development. Of particular note are those regarding the quest to transform scientific discoveries into accessible public health goods that are affordable to all.

We believe that Member States have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure equitable access to health technologies, and WHO a mandate to assist them in doing so. COVID-19 has shown us the tragic consequences of a too rigid intellectual property system coupled with non-functional technology transfer mechanisms. Governments can and must do better in convincing other stakeholders to collaborate in common endeavours, such as the COVID-19 Technologies Access Pool (C-TAP) and the mRNA tech transfer hub.

Public interest oriented civil society has an important role to play in regional and global dialogues surrounding access to health technologies. We stand ready to contribute to these and other discussions.

Thank you for your attention.

(Delivered by Jaume Vidal)