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Joint Communiqué of the BRICS Member States on Health on the Sidelines of the 66th WHA

Geneva, May 20, 2013

1. The BRICS countries, represented by the Ministers of Health of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, met on 20th of May 2013 on the sidelines of the 66th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Recalled the Beijing and Delhi Declarations of the BRICS Health Ministers Meetings in 2011 and 2013 respectively, where they committed to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation for promoting health of the BRICS population. The BRICS Health Ministers resolved to continue cooperation in the sphere of the health through the Technical Working Groups.

3. Reiterate their commitment to collaborate on five thematic issues namely: strengthening health surveillance system; reducing NCD risk factors, prevention and health promotion and Universal Health Coverage; strategic health technologies, with a focus on communicable and non-communicable diseases; medical technologies; and drug discovery and development.

4. Drew attention to the WHO report on Monitoring Achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and acknowledged that despite progress made, much needs to be done if these Goals are to be achieved by 2015 and beyond. They undertook to work collaboratively to shape the debate, fully recognizing that there cannot be development without Health. The symbiotic relationship between health and development has been acknowledged by the Ministers. They reiterate their commitment to support WHO as a coordinating authority in global health.

5. Recalling the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, they reiterate the importance of child survival strategy through progressive reduction in maternal mortality, infant mortality, neo-natal mortality and under-5 mortality, with the aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. With respect to the UN Commission on Life saving Commodities for Women and Children, they further acknowledged the role of the WHO in addressing related regulatory pathways and product quality issues, including prequalification, and expanding access to selected essential health products for the worlds most vulnerable people. They reiterated their commitment to a renewed effort in this area and to enhance collaboration through exchange of best practices.

6. Recognized the momentum built with regard to Universal Health Coverage, particularly the report of the WHO/ World Bank Ministerial Roundtable Meeting held in February 2013. They expressed support for the leadership role and broad directions of WHO's action plan and further emphasized the importance of providing access to quality Primary health Care services for all, including strengthening other aspects of the health system.

7. Agreed on the importance of monitoring progress towards Universal Health Coverage. To this end the BRICS countries agreed to identify their institutions to work with WHO in developing a monitoring framework that would help countries track their progress towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

8. Expressed their appreciation for work leading to successfully negotiations the first Standard Material Transfer Agreement 2 (SMTA2) and its signing between WHO and one of the largest vaccine manufacturers as a positive step toward the full implementation of the Framework on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Sharing of Influenza Viruses an Access and Other Benefits. They reaffirmed their commitment to work with WHO to ensure that the Framework advance equitable and universal access to Influenza Vaccines in response to future pandemics.

9. Recognized progress made on the three broad areas of WHO reform, namely: programmes and priority-setting; governance; and management, as well as a high-level implementation plan for WHO Reforms. They further highlighted the need to ensure transparency and inclusive decision-making processes within the organization. They expressed their appreciation of the newly established Financing Dialogue Mechanism, designed to give a clearer picture of funding requirements and funding gaps, as well as to improve the predictability and sustainability of funding for the WHO.

10. Welcomed the WHO report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG). They also welcomed the proposal to establish a Global Health and Development Observatory within WHO's Secretariat in order to monitor and analyze relevant information on health research and development as important steps towards increasing access to affordable medicines. They further welcomed the implementation of a few health R&D demonstration projects to address identified gaps that disproportionately affect developing countries, particularly the poor, and for which immediate action can be taken. They also underscored that the implementation of demonstration projects should be fully transparent and inclusive, with broad engagement of all relevant stakeholders.

11. Emphasized the importance for technology transfer as a means to empower developing countries. They underlined the need to establish the BRICS network o technological cooperation and jointly promote access to affordable, safe, efficacious and quality medical products, through the use of TRIPS flexibilities.

12. Announce that the Technical Working Groups will implement the plans of action adopted by the Ministers in line with the Delhi Declaration. The report of the Technical Working groups will serve as a preparation for the 3rd BRICS Health Ministers Meeting to take place in South Africa.

Source: Official website of the 2014 Fortaleza Summit

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