Transparency” and “accountability” are familiar buzzwords. Like salt and pepper, they pop up on nearly every list of ingredients for sound policy and good governance. But, as Ilona Kickbusch and Suerie Moon of the Graduate Institute Global Health Centre in Geneva point out, their details are rarely specified: transparency for what? Accountability to whom? On Tuesday afternoon, those not busy casting a vote for the next World Health Organization director general got the chance to dig into these questions at a panel co-sponsored by the Graduate Institute and FIND. In particular, discussion focused on transparency in terms of public access to two types of information: drug R&D costs and clinical trial data. Continue reading ->
In his first meeting with the United Nations press corps the morning after his historic election as the next director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus began to unfold his vision for the organisation and fended off questions about the United States budget by saying WHO has to diversify its funding base. He also signaled a variety of possible issues to come such as increased assessments on governments, and consideration of the recommendations of a recent UN report on access to medicines. Continue reading ->
A group of non-governmental organisations organised a side event to the World Health Assembly to discuss the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance, the way to incentivise research and development for new antibiotics, and the imperative of affordability and accessibility of new products. The speakers mentioned alternative models, such as delinking the cost of research from the price of the medicines, underlined the high prices of vaccines, and the importance of systems of infection prevention and control. Continue reading ->
Speculation in the hallways of United Nations headquarters in Geneva was rampant in the days and hours leading up to this afternoon’s election of a new director general to lead the UN World Health Organization, but solid information about who will win was hard to come by. The outcome after a series votes is expected sometime tonight. Update! According to sources, the first round of voting is over. Results: Tedros 95, Nabarro 52, Nishtar 38. Second round update! Tedros 121, Nabarro 62. Third round underway. Continue reading ->
The 70th annual World Health Assembly (WHA), now underway in Geneva, is shaping up to be one of the most consequential in memory. With a record-setting nine-day, 76-item agenda, plus dozens of official and unofficial side events, delegates and WHO followers alike will be hard-pressed to keep up. But yesterday’s introductory briefing, hosted by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute, provided an overview of the proceedings and a few pointers on where to look first. Four items, in particular, stand out. Continue reading ->
The 70th annual World Health Assembly kicked off today with the focus of thousands on the grand plenary hall in United Nations headquarters in Geneva. But in the surrounding rooms and buildings in and outside of the UN, a wide array of side events is taking place. IP-Watch's Global Health Policy News took a look at a selection of these events and found this year a stronger focus has emerged on the subject of health security and the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are occurring alongside the usual disease-specific events and those on various sectors of humanity, the focus on access to medical products, and a variety of other current topics. Continue reading ->