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This report deals with the relevant WTO Agreements and the way they may influence health and health policies. At the national level, health policy makers are increasingly interested in the two-way connection between trade and health. The principle objective of this report is to describe the actual and potential linkages between relevant WTO agreements and health so as to enable both trade and health officials to better understand and monitor the effects of these linkages.
The report examines the main WTO Agreements to health and health policies namely the Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and Trade in Services (GATS). It also refers to the fundamental WTO principles of non-discrimination and national treatment, which guide the actual implementation of the Agreements as they relate to health issues. In subsequent chapters, the report focuses on eight health issues: infectious disease control, food safety, tobacco, environment, access to drugs, health services, food security and nutrition, and emerging issues, such as biotechnology. It also illustrates key areas where trade rules may either complement or conflict with national health policies.
To conclude, the report emphasizes the need for policy coherence between health and trade at the national and international level and identifies opportunities to achieve greater coherence in health and trade policies in support of health and development goals.
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World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
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