2006-2007 HWG Workplan

Introduction

In 2003, Senior Officials agreed to create an ad hoc Health Task Force to engage the health sector of APEC economies in addressing health-related threats to economies, trade and security with a focus on emerging infectious diseases. Key objectives of the Health Task Force included enhancing APEC cooperation and co-ordination of health-related efforts across relevant sectors; recommending and implementing priorities of Leaders and Ministers; and, adding value to ongoing global health related efforts of other international organizations. Originally created with a two-year mandate (2004-2005), the Health Task Force mandate was extended for another two years in recognition that health remains a critical component of economic and trade development in the region, and that more work needs to be done to raise awareness, and effectively respond to emerging infectious disease concerns.

HTF Priorities in 2006-2007

The Health Task Force (HTF) met on February 27-28, 2006 in Hanoi and agreed on a new work plan for 2006-07.

The work plan identifies three priority areas on which the HTF will focus its work. They are:

  • enhancing avian and human pandemic influenza preparedness and response;
  • fighting against HIV/AIDS in the APEC region; and,
  • improving health outcomes through advances in health information technology. The work plan provides the rationale and objectives to advance each of these priorities which are supported by key activities to be undertaken by HTF economies, (See Annex)

The work plan represents a continuation of important work already underway by the HTF and responds to outcomes from the APEC Ministerial and Leaders Meetings in 2005. In particular, the work plan seeks to implement the APEC Initiative on Preparing for and Mitigating an Influenza Pandemic endorsed by APEC Leaders in 2005. This Initiative identifies eleven areas for collective work by APEC economies to complement and support those of international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

When implementing the objectives of the work plan, the HTF will keep in mind the lessons learned from previous and existing projects, and the complementarity of work in other APEC for a. It will also ensure that the work plan keeps a focus on achievable objectives.

The work plan will be a living document and may be adapted over the course of the year to reflect changing circumstances such as additional instructions from Senior Official Meetings (SOM), or comments from other APEC fora or stakeholders such as the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). Any changes will be submitted to SOM for their approval.

Co-operation with other APEC fora and ABAC

Some of the activities of the HTF will be undertaken in support of initiatives of other APEC fora, including: the APEC Task Force on Emergency Preparedness, the APEC Life Sciences and Innovation Forum and others as appropriate. Likewise, the HTF will engage other APEC fora and ABAC in advancing HTF priorities.

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