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February 08, 2020

GHTC delivers statement on Nagoya Protocol at WHO Executive Board Meeting

The following statement—from Global Health Council, supported by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Global Health Technologies Coalition—was delivered at the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board Meeting on agenda item 15.4: The public health implications of implementation of the Nagoya Protocol..

Global Health Council, supported by the Global Health Technologies Coalition, thanks the chair and distinguished delegates for this opportunity to comment on the public health implications of implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

We support the objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity and of the Nagoya Protocol, including facilitating access to genetic materials and sharing the benefits arising from their use. However, we urge member states to give very careful consideration to the public health implications of any legislation aimed at implementing the Nagoya Protocol. From basic research through clinical trials, medical research is highly collaborative and routinely involves the sharing of organisms, pathogens, and research findings across borders. Any national implementation legislation should account for the need for the timely sharing of genetic material, ensuring that there are no major delays or barriers to the development or use of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.

We call on the World Health Organization (WHO) in its normative capacity to continue assessing the impact of the Nagoya Protocol on public health and support a WHO review of all existing international pathogen sharing legislation and provisions governing sample-sharing. Member states should formally recognize those international pathogen sharing policies whose access and benefit sharing provisions result in a public health benefit.

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