September 17, 2014

Over 150 organizations and individuals urge UN to keep health R&D at the heart of the post-2015 agenda

Marissa Chmiola
Communications Officer
Photo: © 2011, Charlotte Raymond Photography for International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
Photo: © 2011, Charlotte Raymond Photography for International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

With the 69th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly opening this week in New York and the global community debating how best to refine the post-2015 development agenda, over 150 organizations and individuals signed a petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Member States urging the UN to keep the research, development, and delivery of new and improved health tools at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.

Specifically, the petition—which was circulated by GHTC, the Council on Health Research for Development, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative—requests that the “UN fully supports in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals [(SDGs)]-Framework the research, development, and delivery of new and improved medicines, vaccines, and other health tools for the diseases and health conditions that predominantly affect low- and middle-income countries as well as marginalized, vulnerable populations globally.”

The signing organizations and individuals represent a diverse group of research and academic institutions, private sector entities, and nongovernmental organizations from all regions of the globe: Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North and South America.

GHTC is pleased to see such broad and substantial support for the inclusion of health R&D components in the post-2015 agenda, and hopes that the Member States and officials who are shaping the agenda will take note.

Below is the full text of the petition and list of signatories:

Excellency, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Member States of the UN,

We, the below signatory organizations request that the UN fully supports in the post-2015 SDG-Framework the research, development, and delivery of new and improved medicines, vaccines, and other health tools for the diseases and health conditions that predominantly affect low- and middle-income countries as well as marginalized, vulnerable populations globally. 

Thanks to the leadership of the UN and investments by Member States, the current Millennium Development Goals have made major contributions to improving the health and lives of millions of people around the world. A sustained focus on some of the greatest global health challenges has led to enormous progress in many areas, including significant improvements in the development and delivery of health tools such as drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. Efforts to tackle diseases have also helped underpin progress in other important areas, such as gender equality, child mortality, and maternal health. Millions of lives have been saved.

However, major challenges remain, and the health burden imposed by poverty remains far too high. In this context, it is essential that the post-2015 development agenda retains a strong focus on eliminating poverty-related diseases and conditions. The post-2015 agenda must build on previous achievements to ensure that healthy lives and access to health services can be achieved in an equitable and sustainable way, leaving no one behind. This means ensuring universal access to proven health interventions. But it also means developing and delivering new health technologies which can help address the shortcomings of existing interventions and sustainably reduce morbidity and mortality over the longer term. This will require continued support for the research, development, and delivery of new tools to the combat major epidemics like HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria, as well as other poverty-related diseases and conditions ranging from neglected tropical diseases to reproductive, maternal, and child health. Continuous investment of human and financial resources in science, technology, and innovation is essential to achieve both economic and social development for all.

We are encouraged by the current inclusion of the need to support the development of new medicines and vaccines for diseases particularly affecting developing countries in the Zero Draft document of the SDGs. Concern remains, however, about the omission of medical devices and diagnostics which also contribute to improving health outcomes, the lack of clarity on how this effort will be funded, and how supporting policies, incentives, capacity building, collaboration, and knowledge and technology sharing will be defined and implemented.

As organizations working to save lives and improve health, we urge you to commit explicit and full support to health research and related policies and capacity building as a core component of a new, post-2015 agenda for equitable health and sustainable development for all. We ask that you press Member States to offer similar support, and to formally assess how to measure progress towards this goal, and how to fully and sustainably finance and enable the research, development, and delivery of essential new and improved health tools.




African Services Committee


Amsterdam Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Asociacion Gestion Salud Poblacion

Association of Commonwealth Universities


Bishkek Feminist Collective SQ

Boston University

Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research

Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network

Caribbean Public Health Agency

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities

Ciflorpan, University of Panamá


Comité Nacional Cubano de Bioética

Community Health Evangelism Programme

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

Department of Epidemiology, University Hospital F Hached, Tunisia

Department of Psychiatry, Chiang Mai University

Dept of Paediatrics, IrruaTeaching Hospital Edo State Nigeria

Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung

Development of People's Foundation

Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee

Drugs for Neglected Diseasesinitiative

Duke University

ECOM - Eurasian Coalition on Male Health

Egerton University

Estonian Network PLWHIV

European Investment Bank

European Public Health Association


Facultad de Quimica, Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay

Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria



Fiocruz Minas

Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa)


George Institute



Global Alliance for TB Drug Development

Global Health Advocates

Global Health Consulting

Global Health Council

Global Health Technologies Coalition

Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise

Government of Kenya

gTt-VIH (Spain)

Hanoi School of Public Health

Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria Edo State Chapter,


Hospital Nelson Piccolo

Hospital Sionsberg

Hubert Kairuki Memorial University


IHCAI Foundation


Institute of Human Nutrition and Food

Institute of Tropical Medicine

Institute Tropical Medicine Antwerp

Instituto de Investigaciones Epidemiologicas, Academia Nacional de Medicina, Buenos Aires

Instituto de Observação da Terra

Instituto de Salud Carlos III

Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

International Consortium on Anti-Virals

International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development

International Partnership for Microbicides

International Vaccine Institute

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Kairuki Memorial University

Kapkatet medical training Centre

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics

Koningklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

Kyrgyz Indigo

La Gazette

Law Office of Laurel G. Yancey, P.C.

Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe

Medicines for Malaria Venture

menZDRAV Foundation

Micro Insurance Academy

Ministry of Education and Sports, Philippines

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania

Ministry of Health, Barbados

National AIDS Research Institute

National Institute of Health Research & Development

NEPAD Science, Technology and Innovation Hub

Netherlands Health Research Organization

Nige Academy of Science

North Eastern Council, Health Adviser

One child-one world

One Family Health

Oswaldo Cruz Institute

Parviflora Research Organization


People’s Health Movement

Philippine Council for Health Research and Development

Philippine Department of Health

Policy Cures

Population Council

Public Health Institute

Public Private Partnership Health Society

RALSA Foundation

Research Department, National Hospital Rosales

Research into Cultura and Reproductive Health For Sustainable Human Development (RECARDEV)


Royal Tropical Institute, Netherlands

Rural Community Health Research

SA Medical Research Council

Sabin Vaccine Institute

School of Population Health, University of Queensland

Section of Infectious Diseases, Dept of Medicine, St Luke's Medical Center, QC, Philippines


South Africa-Department of Health

South African Research Ethics Training Initiative


Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute

The Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies

The Environment Ameliorators

The University of Western Australia

Tools To Work

Treatment Action Group

Uhamka University

Unidad de Investigacion Cientifica, Facultad de Ciencias Medicas, UNAH

Universidad del Valle

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Universidade de Sao Paulo

University of Bergen

University of Birmingham

University of Brasilia

University of Cagliari

University of California, Irvine

University of Cape Coast

University of Edinburgh

University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho. Ghana

University of KwaZulu-Natal

University of Melbourne

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

University of Oslo

University of the Witwatersrand

Washington Global Health Alliance

Y+ Network


Alix Beith

Francesca Coloni

Franko Family

Wanjiku Kabiru

Malcolm McNeil

Ophelia Mendoza

Ellene Mocria


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