Signed by 34 States and supported by many others, as well as by several international organizations, the Cotonou Declaration provides a basis for political advocacy that has helped legitimize actions against falsified medicines conducted by different organizations over the past two years. This political mobilization was strengthened in 2010 by the commitment of all the Member States of the Francophonie (the Montreux Summit resolution in October 2010), by the commitment of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (November 2010 resolution), and finally by the adoption of the MEDICRIME Convention by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (December 8, 2010).
This legitimacy has allowed the Fondation Chirac to gradually gather together experts from different institutions and organizations working to prevent and punish the manufacture and trade of falsified medicines: Interpol, the World Customs Organization, the World Health Organization, the French Development Agency, NEPAD….
Since September 2010, the Fondation Chirac’s efforts have also benefited from major support from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The Ministry has named an Envoy for the fight against falsified medicines to lead the French diplomatic network and further advocacy within Diplomatic Chanceries and international organizations.
In 2011, the Fondation’s plea recreated at the regional level its dual activity: political advocacy and technical work in partnership with relevant organizations. The Ouagadougou Roundtable for concerted action against falsified medicines in West Africa was held from September 27 to 29, 2011. It brought together all of West Africa’s technical and financial partners, as well as the two regional economic organizations. The goal was to establish a regional plan of action against falsified medicines, implement a platform for action by partners, and offer technical support to regional economic organizations that are committed to fighting this trans-boundary traffic.
The mobilization against falsified medicines continues and in 2012, it will take on several major challenges: duplicate the example of West Africa to other parts of the world, mobilize donors more substantially on the issue, and raise awareness among the general public and intermediary political bodies.
The Cotonou Declaration was the starting point of these efforts. Though still young, it is already beginning to bear fruit.