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Joint Communiqué of the BRICS Member States on Health on the Sidelines of the 67th WHA

May 20, 2014, Geneva

1. The BRICS countries, represented by the Heads of Delegation of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, met on 20th May 2014 on the sidelines of the 67th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Recalled the Beijing and Delhi Declaration and the Cape Town Communiqué of the BRICS Health Ministers Meetings in 2011 and 2013 and the Joint Communiqué of the BRICS Health Ministers in Geneva on 20th May 2013 on the sidelines of the 66th session of the World Health Assembly, in which they committed to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation for promoting health of the BRICS population. They resolved to continue cooperation in the sphere of health through the Technical Working Groups and the "BRICS Framework for Collaboration on Strategic Projects in Health".

3. Reiterated their commitment to collaborate in key thematic areas focusing on strengthening health surveillance systems; reducing Non-Communicable disease (NCD) risk factors through prevention and health promotion; Universal Health Coverage (UHC); strategic health technologies, with a focus on communicable and non-communicable diseases; medical technologies; and drug discovery and development.

4. Noted the significance and relevance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular the health-related MDGs. They called upon UN Member States to give due consideration to health as an important issue in the discussions of the post-2015 development agenda. Emphasized that discussions on Universal Health Coverage must encompass strengthening national health systems and addressing human resources for health, which are essential for the fulfillment of the right to health and wellbeing for all.

5. Emphasized the importance and need of technology transfer as a means to empower developing countries. They underlined the importance of ensuring access to affordable, quality, efficacious and safe medical products, including generic medicines, biological products, and diagnostics, through the use of TRIPS flexibilities, for the realization of the right to health. They also renewed commitment to strengthening international cooperation in health, and South-South cooperation in particular, with a view to supporting efforts in developing countries to promote health for all.

6. Acknowledged the unique role of WHO in advancing the global health agenda. They reiterated their support to current discussions on the process of reform of WHO so as to better respond to global challenges in programmatic, organizational and operational terms. They reaffirmed the intergovernmental nature of WHO, and reiterated their commitment to preserve WHO as the coordinating and leading authority in global health.

7. Reiterated their support to the full implementation of WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, which gave rise to the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development, and, in this context, drew attention to WHA Resolutions WHA66.22 and WHA65.24 with specific reference to demonstration projects. They further welcomed the implementation of 8 R&D demonstration projects to address identified health gaps that disproportionately affect developing countries, particularly the poor, for which immediate action can be taken, as well as the establishment of a Global health and Development Observatory within WHO. They also underscored that the discussion of mechanisms for financial contributions to health research and development should be fully transparent and inclusive, with broad engagement of all relevant stakeholders.

8. Reiterated their commitment to use TRIPS flexibilities to promote access to medicines, foster innovation and share these experiences with other developing countries.

9. Resolved to continue cooperation in the sphere of health through the "BRICS Framework for Collaboration on Strategic Projects in Health" and support the finalization of the BRICS Monitoring and Evaluation Tool for Universal Health Coverage.

Source: Ministry of External Relations of Brazil

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