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Item 17.4:Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D

European regional statement

 •The declining Ebola epidemic has prominently revealed the unmet medical needs of people in developing countries as well as the weaknesses of national health systems. It is therefore urgent to boost coordination and funding at global level to fill in the important gap in health R&D related to diseases that disproportionately affect low and middle-income countries.
•The European Region is committed to further advancing the development of sustainable global solutions at the 68th World Health Assembly.
•Our Region takes note of the report and welcomes the concrete progress made since the last World Health Assembly regarding the conceptual development of a pooled fund for voluntary contributions to develop effective and affordable health technologies for type III and II diseases and to address specific R&D needs of developing countries in relation to type I diseases. We also welcome the outline given with regard to the relationship of the proposed fund with the Global Health R&D Observatory and the future coordination mechanism.
•The European Region acknowledges the importance of a functional observatory and coordination group in order to allocate the resources of the proposed fund according to evidence-based R&D needs and priority areas.
•Our Region acknowledges the proposed division of roles and responsibilities between the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and WHO. We urge the Secretariat to ensure that the proposed structures – i.e. the Scientific Working Group and the Fund secretariat to be hosted by TDR as well as the WHO Coordination Group linked to the Observatory – are as lean and cost-effective as possible.
•The European Region also acknowledges the proposed governance structure for the potential pooled fund to be hosted by TDR. We support the role Member States shall assume in approving the allocation of resources to future R&D projects through the proposed pooled fund. •Our Region urges the Secretariat to strive for financing the Global Health R&D Observatory through the WHO Programme Budget, at least after the initial set up phase. We consider the continuous analysis of the health R&D needs, activities and gaps to be a core function of WHO.
•For efficiency reasons our Region concurs with WHO’s preference in assigning the financial management of the potential pooled fund to TDR. •The European Region asks the Secretariat to further examine the options presented for organizing and mobilizing funding by voluntary means. In this respect, we welcome the new financial contributions announced this week by India and South Africa and call on Member States from all WHO regions to come on board and also support this process.
•Shared global responsibility for health R&D related to diseases disproportionately affecting low and middle-income countries continues to be a priority. We thank the Secretariat and TDR for their continuous efforts towards this goal.