The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed the Hon. Michael Kirby, who is Patron of the Kirby Institute, to a high level panel on access to medicines.
He joins fifteen other eminent and well-regarded members, which include former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss and Former President of Botswana Festus Mogae.
The Panel will provide recommendations to the Secretary-General on ways to ensure equal and affordable access to quality treatments and ways to incentivise innovative new technologies around vaccines, medicines and diagnostics.
The recent Ebola crisis emphasises the need for research and development on diseases, particularly those where financial returns are not guaranteed. Other infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C will also be considered by the Panel.
Michael Kirby’s past experience and position as Patron of the Kirby Institute will serve him well as a member of the Panel. From 1989-92 he was a Commissioner of the inaugural World Health Organisation Global Commission on AIDS. In the 1990s he served on the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee and on the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organisation (1995-2003). Since 2003 he has been a member of the UNAIDS Expert Panel on AIDS and Human Rights. In 2015 he was appointed to the Equitable Access Initiative of the Global Fund of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Kirby Institute congratulates Michael Kirby on this important undertaking and looks forward to the recommendations from the Panel.