The WTO Secretariat, in collaboration with WHO and WIPO, convenes a five-day Workshop on Trade and Public Health

The WTO Secretariat, in close collaboration with the Secretariats of WHO and WIPO, is convening a five-day Workshop on Trade and Public Health in Geneva from 26 to 30 October 2015. The Workshop builds on a series of annual Workshops on Intellectual Property and Public Health that have been organized by the WTO Secretariat since 2005, as well as the first Workshop of this kind on Trade and Public Health that was held from 24 to 28 November 2014 at the WTO.



It broadly follows the approach developed in the WHO-WIPO-WTO trilateral study “Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation: Intersections Between Public Health, Intellectual Property and Trade”.


What the workshop is offering

The Workshop aims at building national decision-makers’ capacity to analyse policy choices in the area of intersection between trade, intellectual property (IP) and public health, based on a comprehensive understanding of overlapping policy issues with bearing on public health, and an analysis of their relationship with multilateral trade agreements. It will review the system of multilateral trade agreements as part of the wider action to address needs specific to public health, and will set this system in the context of the broader factors that impact on innovation and access in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sector.

The programme will cover: public health determinants; the IP system; pricing and procurement policies; competition policy and rules; tariffs, quotas and licensing; health services; and regulatory issues, including approval, quality control and effectiveness of medicines, the protection of clinical trial data under the TRIPS Agreement, and health-related measures in the TBT and SPS Committees. This will be complemented by a series of discussions dedicated to specific, cross-cutting themes linking trade agreements to topical issues, such as non-communicable diseases, as well as exercises and case studies


Who should apply

The workshop is intended for 25 selected senior government officials from developing countries who already have a high level practical understanding of some aspects of trade, IP and health policy, and who have continuing responsibilities for assessing and implementing trade and IP policy options that relate to public health matters. Applications can only be received from officials who are formally nominated by their national government, and applications must be passed through the Permanent Mission/Embassy representing their government to the WTO.

To be considered in the selection process, candidates should possess at least the following qualifications and background:

  • direct responsibility for matters relating to the interaction between trade agreements and public health, whether from authorities dealing with foreign affairs, trade, intellectual property, public health or any other relevant department assuming responsibilities regarding the interface between trade agreements and public health;
  • the definite expectation of continuing to work, or being assigned responsibilities, specifically in this field;
  • established expertise and experience in this area, and a good level of knowledge about trade law and policy, including, but not limited to, the WTO's TRIPS Agreement, and public health policy; and
  • all-round proficiency in English, the working language of the workshop being English.


How to apply

WTO Members and Observers that are eligible to benefit from WTO training and technical cooperation activities have been invited to nominate capital-based officials for consideration and for possible selection for this programme at the latest by 11 August 2015.

Interested candidates can access the application form here. To be considered, an application form must be signed by the national authority which presents candidates and can only be submitted to the WTO via the Permanent Mission/Embassy to the WTO in Geneva.

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