UNIDO urges sustainable local production of pharmaceuticals and health commodities for equitable access to all

Organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and hosted by the Netherlands government, the 2nd World Local Production Forum (WLPF) was held in the Hague from 6 – 8 November 2023, with inspiring opening remarks from WHO, WIPO and WTO Directors Generals, among several international organizations and health ministers from several countries. The WLPF brought together most relevant stakeholders of the global community in a common discussion platform to shape strategies and direction, galvanize collective action, and foster synergies and partnerships on sustainable local production and technology transfer to improve timely and equitable access to quality assured medicines and other health technologies for all. 

Recognizing UNIDO´s sustained contribution to strengthening the local pharmaceutical manufacturing for decades, particularly in Africa; UNIDO´s Deputy to the Director-General and Managing Director of the Directorate for TCS, Mr. Ciyong Zou, was invited to lead the UNIDO´s participation. Mr. Zou participated at the Global Leaders Debate, highlighting the imperative of combining health equity and economic development goals, where governments and the international community should joint efforts to embrace common vision and policies, reduce trade barriers, and harmonization of regulations and standards; for stablishing regional manufacturing ecosystems that improve the business environment, enables job creation and business linkages for technology transfer, knowledge sharing, and skills development; while contributing to improve equitable access of medical products. 

On another key message, UNIDO called for promoting alliances among governments, private sector, multilateral organizations, and civil society organizations to support lean, environmental-friendly, and sustainable production and distribution, was well received too, being reflected among the WLPF final outcomes. 

UNIDO also organized a side event to discuss how could regional health product manufacturing be harnessed for enhanced pandemic resilience, the role of governments and industry, and complementarities by other local and international actors. It counted with the participation of high-level representatives from East African Community (EAC), West African Health Organization (WAHO) – Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Federation of African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (FAPMA), and the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA). The event also served to launch the UNIDO´s latest publication ACELERATING THE PATH TO EQUAL ACCESS TO HEALTH PRODUCTS. A call for inclusive and sustainable health industry development. The publication expands on UNIDO´s unique contribution to the development of the health-care industry in low and middle-income countries, enshrined in the organization’s Strategic Framework for Health Industry Development 2022–2030.  It outlines innovative methodologies and approaches to the development of the pharmaceutical sector that can be replicated across the globe. These approaches, well-tested throughout the decades-long experience of UNIDO in the sector and complemented by relevant project examples, can serve as a useful guide for several activities related to the development of the health and pharmaceutical industry. Such activities involve technology transfer, investments, access to catalytic finance, industrial production, infrastructure and regulatory frameworks, research and development capacity, and market access. The publication concludes with a call for building a shared global vision and agenda for development of the health industry. UNIDO is committed to this advocacy effort, together with its engagement to develop trade frameworks and markets for local products, and to strengthen local product development and manufacturing capacities, constitute the systemic transformations that will realize the long-term goal of healthy lives and well-being for all. 


Please visit the UNIDO´s Knowledge hub for more information, publications, and training courses related to UNIDO´s contribution to health industry sector development.