WMA Council Resolution reaffirming the WMA Resolution on Economic Embargoes and Health

Adopted by the 188th WMA Council Session, Sydney, Austria, April 2011

The World Medical Association is deeply concerned about reports of potential serious health impacts resulting from economic sanctions imposed by the European Union against Ivory Coast leader, Laurent Gbagbo, and numerous individuals and entities associated with his regime, including two major ports linked to Gbagbo's government.  The sanctions aim to severely restrict EU-registered vessels from transacting business with these ports, which could inhibit the delivery of necessary and life-saving medicines.

The WMA Council reiterates the following position from the WMA Resolution on Economic Embargoes and Health:

  •    All people have the right to the preservation of health; and,
  •    the Geneva Convention (Article 23, Number IV, 1949) requires the free passage of medical supplies intended for civilians;


The WMA therefore urges the European Union to take steps immediately to ensure the delivery of medical supplies to the Ivory Coast, in order to protect the life and health of the population.