Intercountry Consultation on the Regional Strategy for Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region 2011-2020
Dr Shin Young-soo
World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific
Dear Honourable guests,
ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this Intercountry Consultation on the Regional Strategy for Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific (2011–2020).
I would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Korea, especially the Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine, for extending its support in hosting this important meeting.
The increasing popularity of traditional medicine makes this an opportune time for us to consider strategic directions that can help guide governments, development partners and other stakeholders in maximizing the health potential of traditional medicine, and at the same time advancing the cause of primary health care and moving further towards universal coverage.
Traditional medicines have been used for centuries by people in the Western Pacific Region, as well as in other parts of the world.
Distinct traditional medical systems have arisen in various countries and cultures.
They have been and handed down from one generation to the next.
To a large extent, traditional systems of medicine are specific to countries or even to localities.
With these variations in mind, the Regional Office for the Western Pacific has reviewed its existing strategy and, after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, has developed a new draft strategy, which is now ready for further consultation and your valuable input.
The strategy advocates coexistence of traditional medicine and promotes inclusion of traditional medicine in overall health systems, based on scientific evidence.
The Regional Strategy for Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific (2011–2020) presents a balance between continuity and change, tradition and innovation.
It provides for a continuation of the directions and actions detailed in the Regional Strategy for Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific (2001–2010) that continue to remain relevant to the needs of Member States.
The Regional Strategy for Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific (2011–2020) identifies and addresses new and emerging opportunities, challenges and directions that have appeared both globally and regionally since the development of the previous strategy.
Increased emphasis is given to universal coverage, the importance of cooperation and the sharing of information to support the quality, safety and efficacy of traditional medicine practices and products.
The strategy also aims to enhance cooperation and communication within and between Member States and to facilitate internationalization and harmonization of traditional medicine, while at the same time protecting and conserving indigenous health resources, including traditional knowledge and bio-resources.
The draft strategy, which you are going to review during these two days, is a conceptual document intended to guide us over the next 10 years.
Your contributions at this stage are most important as we finalize the strategy so that the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific can consider it for endorsement at its sixty-second session in Manila in October 2011.
Of course, you are the key players who will advocate for the strategy and implement it your own countries.
I would like to wish you success in your deliberations during this meeting and look forward to hearing your conclusions. Have an enjoyable stay in Daejon.