Two years after the Cotonou Declaration on October 12, 2009, at the initiative of President Jacques Chirac and the Presidents of Benin and Burkina Faso, the Roundtable is the first regional meeting on falsified medicines involving technical and financial partners as well as financial backers. At the initiative of the Embassy of France in Ouagadougou, several partners are organizing the event: the regional economic communities of West Africa (UEMOA and ECOWAS), the World Health Organization, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Fondation Chirac.
Its goal is to formalize a regional plan of action to fight against falsified medicines, which will be defended by the West African Organization for Health and ECOWAS. The principles of this action plan can then be applied by each member state of ECOWAS, including the region’s seven signatory states of the Cotonou Declaration (Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo, Mali, Niger, and Guinea).
While the international mobilization led by the Fondation Chirac is moving forward with the upcoming opening for signature of the Council of Europe’s MEDICRIME Convention, this first regional event is particularly important. The implementation of financed regional action plans, involving health, judicial, customs, and political aspects, will help policy-makers translate their political will into concrete actions, with the help of major donors and technical partners.