afffordable medicinesafffordable medicinesFrom the moment he took office, United States President Donald J. Trump expressed his willingness to direct the US administration to pursue, wherever possible, bilateral trade negotiations instead of multilateral negotiations.

This January, he signed a Presidential Memorandum regarding the Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement, also called TPP. The TPP agreement was originally signed by twelve member countries including the US, on February 4, 2016, but some of them have not yet ratified it.

The remaining 11 Countries involved in the negotiations are starting to fear that other members will withdraw from the TPP, which originally aimed to cut trade barriers in some of East Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

One area in which the TPP is particularly innovative concerns the protection of intellectual property rights in many commercial sectors, including the pharmaceutical sector, thus making the access to lower-price generic medicines more restricted and difficult for member countries.

For this reason, the health community is concerned about the possible outcomes of the new TPP11 negotiations, following the withdrawal of the US and demands for a more inclusive renegotiation of the terms of the Agreement taking into account the public health needs of countries involved.

On August 25th, sixty-seven health organizations, including The World Federation of Public Health Associations, published an open letter to make their views known to their governments calling to promote health, protect people and guarantee access to affordable medicines in all TPP11 countries.

The WFPHA has been advocating to promote health and well-being, protect populations and prevent diseases for more than 50 years as in its #GlobalCharter for the Public’s Health. It is now time for governments to take into account this approach in their trade and international negotiations!

Indigenous WGIndigenous WGEvery year on 9 August, the international community comes together to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, paying tribute to indigenous communities around the globe.
WFPHA acknowledges the contribution of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups and the injustices committed against them throughout the world and the impact on their health and well-being and we pay respect to their elders past and present.
During the last World Congress on Public Health, WFPHA has created a working group on Indigenous health, chaired by Adrian Te Patu, indigenous men and public health experts from New Zealand, as well as members of WFPHA Governing Council.

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The World Federation of Public Health Associations presents the First Nations Wellbeing Statement, which shows the outcome of the World Congress on Public Health.

A World Leaders Dialogue on Suicide Prevention for First Nations people was held at the World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in Melbourne, Australia, on April 4th, 2017. The Black Dog Institute and Australian Health Promotion Association sponsored this event. Richard Weston, the Chief Executive of Australian’s Healing Foundation, facilitated this event, which included presentations from leading global scholars and practitioners in suicide prevention. Most notably, presentations were given by Carol Hopkins, the Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation; Michael Naera, the Kia Piki te Ora Project Leader for Te Runanga o Ngāti Pikiao Trust; and Pat Dudgeon, a Professor at the University of Western Australia.

This paper is an outcome of World Leaders Dialogue on Suicide Prevention for First Nations people held at the 15WCPH, and is being presented to the hosts and partnering bodies of the WCPH, with the expectation that the actions are adopted into policy, and promoted by each organization.

These organizations include the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

This year global health was for the first time in the agenda of the G-20 summit held in Hamburg, Germany. The G20 leaders’ declaration was published on July 10, including a section on Safeguarding against Health Crises and Strengthening Health Systems and on Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance.

World leaders recalled their goal to achieve universal health coverage and committed to fully eradicate polio. They also addressed the issue of drug-resistant infections, especially Tuberculosis, with an increased financing commitment to tackle this disease that affects mostly developing countries. The need to advance preparedness and responsiveness against global health emergencies was recognized as well.

The World Health Organization has been identified as having a central coordinating role for capacity building and response to health emergencies. G20 leaders expressed their commitment to foster research and development activities through globally coordinated models to improve health and encouraged countries and International Organizations to strengthen cooperation in order to overcome the significant health challenges posed by mass movements of people.

However, some other global health issues deserving attention were not discussed during the Summit. In particular, the topic of attacks on medical facilities was not addressed. Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, intentionally directing attacks against hospitals and medical units using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.

Many NGO’s and International organizations, and in particular the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), called on G20 leaders to address this urgent issue and take action to stop the practice of bombing medical units and killing medical personnel in countries at war.

You can read the press release of MSF on this topic here.

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(Hospital bombed in Gaza, 2014. Photo credit: CNN)