Indonesia hosts Foreign Policy and Global Health Forum

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government has been preparing for Indonesia to host the Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) Forum next year. One of the preparatory efforts undertaken by the Indonesian government is conducting a Regional Workshop on Access to Medicines and Intellectual Property Rights in Jakarta on September 18 and 19 in collaboration with the intergovernmental organization South Centre.

South Center is an intergovernmental think-tank of developing countries with currently 54 developing country member states from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.

"This workshop is a preparation for Indonesia to be the host and coordinator of the Foreign Policy and Global Health Forum that will be held next year. It is a forum for ministers engaged in health policies," said Dindin Wahyudin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Head of Multilateral Policy Research and Development Center.

The main issue discussed at the workshop was the effort to ensure access to medicines at affordable prices as against patent protection that affects the price of medicines.

Therefore, the workshop aims to utilize international and domestic laws to ensure that all people can have access to medicines - as part of the basic human rights - despite the implementation of drug patents.

The workshop brought together nearly 35 representatives from governments from Asia, including the ASEAN member states. Moreover, the resource persons of the workshop were coming from ministries or governmental agencies, academia, and organizations dealing with foreign affairs, public health, and intellectual property.

Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) Forum was formed in 2006 by the foreign affairs ministries of Indonesia, Norway, France, Thailand, Brazil, South Africa, and Senegal to emphasize the connection between a foreign policy with the policy in the health sector that nowadays becomes of interest to the international society.

The forum allows governments of those countries to work together to draw greater attention to healthcare as a topic of international relations.

The United Nations General Assembly on December 12, 2012 adopted a resolution in support of universal healthcare coverage presented by France on behalf of the Diplomacy and Health group consisting of the Brazilian, French, Indonesian, Norwegian, Senegalese, South African and Thai foreign ministers.

Source: Antara News

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