ACP PRESS RELEASE 6 December 2010 – Secretary-General Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas has told a Round-Table debate on the fight against fake medicines at the European Development Days of the need for a concerted effort to combat illegal medicines, especially in the ACP countries. Dr. Chambas said that the ACP Group is very concerned about the awful effects of fake medicines. He drew attention to the recent 92nd Session of the Council of Ministers held in Brussels adopted a Resolution on Fight Against the Production and Sale of Fake Drugs and Counterfeit Medical Product. The Resolution had re-affirmed the support of the ACP States for the Cotonou Appeal, launched on 12 October 2009 by several current and former Heads of State, in response to the invitation from the President of the Republic of Benin and to the initiative of the Chirac Foundation to mobilise the International Community to combat fake medicines. It had also called for the adoption of an international legal framework that would be binding under the watch of the United Nations Organisation. The Resolution urged all its Member States to insist on pre-shipment verification of drugs into their respective countries for conformity with international standards, so as to stop the scourge of trade in counterfeit drugs and called on ACP States to adopt appropriate approaches aimed at strengthening national health systems with a view of improving access to essential and generic quality medicines. Former French President Jacques Chirac also witnessed the Round Table debate in Brussels this week. Dr. Chambas also stressed how important it is that people are sensitized about the existence of counterfeit medicines in their communities. “There is a real need to step-up the sensitization of our people and it is vital to work together with non-government organizations as they are close to the people,” the Secretary-General, said. In addition, he re-emphasized the need to build capacities of member states to effectively intercept fake medicines. Amongst those who participated with Dr. Chambas in the panel were: Dr Mo Ibrahim, Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament; Hilde Johnson, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF; and Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairman of the African Union. Details contact: