International Trade and Health (ITH) Conference has been organized since 2014 as a platform for knowledge communication and policy advocacy as well as capacity building and networking. It is organized annually by the National Commission on International Trade and Health Studies (NCITHS) together with the International Trade and Health Programmes and supporting organisations. Speakers and resource persons from several network agencies of the ITH Programme have been invited to share their views with 120-150 participants during the 2-day conference. However, this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will change it format to a virtual conference with the theme related to COVID-19 and international trade and health.
The pandemic of COVID-19 clearly reflects an example of health impacts from mobilization of people around the globe which is the consequence of trade and investment development. The pandemic affects people worldwide, at the same time slows down economic activities and increases the burden to the health systems that may already be very stretch in some countries.
During the pandemic, there are several issues concerned with international trade and health. As agreed in the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Statement and the Joint WTO and WHO Director-General Statement, while recognising of right to take measures to protect public health, it is equally important to ensuring that trade-restrictive measures are "targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and are consistent with WTO rule."
The following lists are issues of concerns relevant to both positive and negative aspects of COVID-19 on international trade and health:
The conference this year will discuss those issues in order to formulate recommendations for preparedness for future public health emergencies.
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