Health research is an essential public good. For progress in health, research is crucial and its importance is increasing. Budgets for health research increased globally more than 4-fold since 1990 and more of such research is multi-centre and international in nature. In addition, although health research in developing countries is a small proportion, it is increasing rapidly. Europe contributes to this as well, specifically with its recently announced EDCTP programme.
For research to be conducted and for the public to remain supportive of health research, there has to be a substantial trust between researchers and research sponsors, policy makers and the public. Guidelines for the ethical conduct of research are an essential instrument in building this trust. To address the complicated ethical dilemmas raised by international collaborative health research, the NIH Fogarty International Centre and the World Health Organisation joined forces to bring together researcher, research decision makers, and ethicist from North and South in 1999 in the first Global Forum on Bioethics in Research. Since then, the partners have grown to include the MRC UK, Wellcome Trust, INSERM, Aga Khan University, University of Buenos Aires, COHRED, and others who joined for one or more conferences only.
The organisation of the annual Fora alternated between partner institutions resulting in a discontinuity that reduces the impact of the Global Forum on Bioethics in Research. In addition, from the point of view of the European Community countries, there is no other platform where European and other ethical perspectives can be debated, and where a European voice can be developed and heard. To counter these obstacles, the partners in the Forum decided to establish a permanent Secretariat and asked the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) in eneva to host it. This proposal concerns the establishment of a Secretariat for the GFBR, and covers the first 2 yrs.
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Funding SchemeSSA - Specific Support Action