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Context of 'May 1998: US Opposes WHO Resolution to Put Public Health over Commercial Interests'

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The World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative in Cuba states that “there is no question that Cuba has the best health statistics in Latin America.” (Chomsky 1993, pp. 151)

The World Health Organization (WHO) presents Cuban leader Fidel Castro with its “Health for All” award in recognition of Cuba reaching all the WHO health goals set for developing countries to achieve by 2000. (Franklin 6/2003)

In Geneva, at the 1998 World Health Assembly, delegates from the US State Department and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) threaten to withdraw funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) when members propose including a provision in its resolution on the Revised Drug Strategy that would urge countries “to ensure that public-health interests rather than commercial interests have ‘primacy’ in pharmaceutical and health policies.” As a result of the United States’ opposition, the statement is not adopted. The US also opposes a proposal to give the WHO a role in monitoring international trade agreements. (Consumer Project on Technology 5/13/1998; Consumer Project on Technology 10/16/1998; Wilson et al. 11/27/1999)

Cuba has sent 25,000 doctors to developing countries—more than the World Health Organization (WHO). Currently, it has almost 2,000 doctors working in 14 countries. (Xinhua News Agency (Beijing) 4/15/2000)


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