The Politics of Pathogen-Sharing

Image credit: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

PATHOGENS AND PUBLIC HEALTH — THE INTERFACE

These discussions on pathogens sharing is also anchored in the rights negotiated by countries, that flow from the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), specifically through its supplementary agreement — the Nagoya Protocol on the Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. The protocol, which has a distinct relevance for public health, came into effect in 2014.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PIP FRAMEWORK

Going forward, the lessons and principles from the PIP framework is important. Why? Because the lessons from PIP Framework can be applied and improved upon, while engaging on discussions for other pathogens. Experts believe that WHO must build on this successful model of the PIP framework, and build a stronger model for the governance of sharing of other pathogens. (The PIP Framework does not apply to seasonal influenza viruses or other non-influenza pathogens).

WHO’S CURIOUS STANCE ON THE NAGOYA PROTOCOL AND THE PIP FRAMEWORK

To understand the direction, these discussions can take, see this recent report cited above by the Director General of WHO, to the Executive Board, which will be discussed next week.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR

Going forward it is important to watch how discussions on benefit-sharing are discussed at WHO. As we reported last week, consultations around potential reforms at WHO in the context of preparedness, include aspects on pathogen samples sharing.

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Geneva Health Files

Geneva Health Files

A newsletter from the capital of global health, reporting on politics, policies and power.