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Vision, Urgency Of UN High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines Begins To Take Shape
NEW YORK -- It came as a surprise to some when the United Nations Secretary General’s office announced in November the setting up of a high level panel to urgently address access to medicines and other health technologies. After all, UN agencies in Geneva, most notably the World Health Organization, have been working on these issues for years. Yesterday at the UN in New York, an event was held to explain some of the vision and urgency behind the setting up of the panel, which includes an expert committee of representatives of some 10 international organisations and others. It also includes an open online call for contributed ideas until 18 February, and two public hearings.
Special Feature: WHO Still On Trail Of New Financing For R&D For Poor Populations’ Medical Needs
World Health Organization members are expected to meet this spring to assess progress and discuss potential solutions to the lack of financing for research and development for diseases affecting primarily developing countries. The WHO Executive Board last week discussed and noted a report by the WHO secretariat for the preparation of the open-ended meeting. The exact date of the meeting is not certain, according to WHO officials, but would likely be in March or April.
China Continues High Growth In IP Filing, But Is There More To The Story?
Sheer intellectual property filings may not be the only or even best measure of innovation, but they are a closely watched economic indicator. Using what data it has, the World Intellectual Property Organization recently touted China's continued massive growth in this area, particularly in patent applications.
200 Companies, Organisations Worldwide Promote Stronger Encryption
Nearly 200 organisations, companies and others from 42 countries have signed an open letter to the international community demanding that stronger encryption tools be allowed to be developed and used. The letter describes encryption tools and services as vital components of maintaining a secure digital environment, where if users are allowed to use the strongest forms of encryption it can allow for the safest and most efficient ways to communicate across borders.
Wired – UNICEF Invests $9m In ‘Open Source’ Tech To Save Children’s Lives
The United Nations will fund 60 startups to create open source technologies to improve the lives of children in developing countries. Unicef, the children's charity run by the UN, will channel more than $9 million into startups based on venture capital-style investing. But it isn't concerned if the companies fail.
European Data Protection Officers On Privacy Shield Announcement: Please Send Text!
A day after the European Commission announced an agreement with US authorities for a “Privacy Shield” as a follow-up mechanism for the invalidated Safe Harbour Agreement, the Article 29 Working Party of European Union data protection officers said they need to see the written text before making their final assessment.
WHO Preps For 2018 UN Review Of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancers, Respiratory Diseases, Diabetes
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan submitted a report to last week’s Executive Board meeting detailing progress made in establishing a framework for the implementation of a global action plan for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs – like obesity, cancer, diabetes). The global action plan is to be officially implemented after the United Nations General Assembly comprehensive review of the prevention and control of NCDs in 2018, designed to eventually reduce premature mortality from NCDs by a third in 2030 in accordance with the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
The Conversation – Netflix’s VPN Ban Proves We Need To Develop A Global, Legal Digital Marketplace
In mid-January, Netflix announced a ban on the use of proxies, unblockers, and virtual private networks (VPNs)—all technical work-arounds to view movies and TV programs unavailable in the subscriber’s country. This announcement coincided with the company’s global service launch into more than 130 new markets.
Increasing Shortages Of Medicines Discussed At WHO, To Be Continued In May
There is an increasing shortage of medicines in the world, in particular in developing countries, but not only there, World Health Organization members said in last week’s Executive Board meeting. Discussions are ongoing on potential solutions and the agenda item referring to the issue was left open, to be brought to the World Health Assembly in May.
Last Chance Meeting To Agree On How WHO Engages With Non-Government Actors In April
World Health Organization members last week agreed to meet for a final session in April to discuss the framework regulating the engagement of the organisation with “non-state actors,” such as non-governmental and philanthropy organisations, and the private sector.

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