- Anne Gulland
Hopes for a global convention aimed at kick starting research and development programmes on diseases that particularly affect developing countries have been reignited after a meeting of the World Health Organization’s executive board.
WHO lawyers called to the board meeting on 25 January ruled that negotiations on the issue could reopen after delegations from the European Union and United States tried to argue that the debate was closed. The board decided to refer the discussion to the World Health Assembly (WHO’s decision making forum) in May.
Observers at the meeting described how WHO’s director general, Margaret Chan, even resorted to singing—a tactic she sometimes deploys to relieve tension and restart debate.
A report commissioned by WHO and published last April recommended a convention that committed all countries to spending …