African NGO Forum Passes Resolution on the Right to Access to Needed Medicines

Sean Flynn
November 10, 2008

A resolution calling on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to recognize human rights to access needed medicines was passed by at a meeting of African Human Rights organizations in Abuja, Nigeria, on November 10.  

The resolution on access to medicines was adopted by the NGO Forum meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, on the occasion of the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The NGO forum is composed of approximately 100 human rights organizations in Africa with observer status before the commission. The resolution will now be transmitted to the African Commission for consideration in its biannual meeting taking place this week.

The resolution adopted by the Forum calls on the African Commission to recognize “access to needed medicines as a fundamental component of the right to health and clarify[ ] the state obligations in this regard.” It specifically calls on the Commission to recognize duties to respect, protect and fulfill rights to access to medicines, including by taking “full advantage of all flexibilities in the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property that promote access to affordable medicines.”

A full copy of the resolution is available at

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