VIENNA, 25 June 2021 - The COVID19 pandemic underlined the importance of local production of essential medicines, vaccines and other health products, which has been a UNIDO priority for the last 20 years. The pandemic has also shown the importance of establishing international standards for production of health products and of improving access, assuring quality and enhancing resilience of supply chains.
Hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the first World Local Production Forum (WLPF) gathered key UN Agencies involved in health and development, including UNICEF, UNAIDS, WTO, UNCTAD and UNIDO, as well as regional and international institutions such as the African Union and the European Commission, and centered on promoting quality and sustainable local production to improve access to medicines and other health technologies.
“UNIDO has established a strategic Health Industry Initiative to ensure that health industry development will make a powerful contribution to pandemic recovery and future resilience in the supply of health and pharma products”, said UNIDO Director General LI Yong.
UNIDO hosted a specific session on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the technological innovations needed to accelerate the development of health industries and public health in the Global South, which was chaired by UNIDO Managing Director for Digitalization, Technology and Agribusiness, Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento.
“Developing pharmaceutical and health related industries has been a priority for many countries in the Global South”, said Calzadilla-Sarmiento. “The pandemic has more emphasized the importance of this objective even more; there is a need to build on the expertise established over many years across many different organizations, to harness the power of new technologies and to support lower-and-middle-income countries and developing regions in achieving their health-related development goals”.
For more information, please contact:
Steffen Kaeser, Chief, Quality Infrastructure and Smart Production Division, UNIDO.