The Foundation develops economic, environmental and conflict prevention initiatives that promote sustainable development and peaceful cooperation.
FALSIFIED MEDICINES INITIATIVE
Since 2017, the Foundation has been involved in the fight against substandard and falsified (SF) medicines. This is a global problem but it is particularly acute in Africa where in some countries up to 60% of medicines in circulation are believed to be substandard or falsified. It is estimated that each year in sub-Saharan Africa 120,000 children under the age of five died each year as a result of SF anti-malarials.
In 2018, in partnership with the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Foundation organised a major conference at the Wellcome Trust in London entitled “Medicines that lie: a deadly public health crisis”. The Conference agreed that this should be a new global priority and that failure to end the traffic in SF medicines would fatally undermine the drive to ensure Universal Health Coverage as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In addition to the human cost, the Conference, drawing in part on research commissioned by the Foundation, noted the role of transnational organised crime in the traffic in SF medicines and evidence that this was in turn financing terrorism, thus posing a serious public security threat in some African countries.
A principal reason for the proliferation of this traffic is the absence in many African countries of the right criminal legislation and effective enforcement. The Foundation has therefore developed the Lomé Initiative to promote the introduction of new legislation specifically targeted at criminalising the traffic in falsified medicines and ensuring effective enforcement as a first step in a broader programme to provide safe and effective medicines for all.
The Congo and its tributaries are a vital resource for all the countries of the Congo Basin. The Basin holds 8% of the world’s forest-based carbon so it also has a key role to play in helping to prevent global warming. Generating sustainable economic development for the peoples of the region while reducing deforestation should be therefore be seen not only as a top priority for the Congo Basin countries but as a global priority as well.
The Foundation’s proposal for a Congo Basin Blue Fund was launched at the world climate change conference, COP 22, in Marrakesh in 2016 and now has the support of all the countries of the Congo Basin and the endorsement of the African Union. This is a major sustainable development initiative designed to reduce pressure to exploit the forests of the Congo Basin and thus mitigate the impact of global warming by promoting alternative economic development using the resources of the Congo River and its tributaries. Work is now under way to turn this concept into a mechanism capable of investing in a wide range of sustainable development projects.
“This financial instrument is intended to ensure a better quality of life for our peoples and protect the forests of the Congo Basin, the world’s second green lung after the Amazon.” Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of African Union’s Congo Basin Climate Commission.
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OUR CONFLICT PREVENTION WORK
In 2016, more countries experienced violence conflict than at any time in nearly 30 years…a surge in violent conflicts in recent years have left a trail of human suffering and displacement, Pathway for Peace – World Bank
Our experience has shown that independent, impartial and discreet efforts to build dialogue and understanding are vital in achieving peaceful solutions to potential conflicts.The Foundation acts as an honest broker, helping protagonists to find ways to talk to each other and arrive at a common basis for a peaceful future.
As part of its commitment to dialogue-building, the Foundation has been working to bring together Libyans from across the political spectrum, including long-standing opponents, based on the conviction that only be agreeing to talk to each other can Libyans rebuild trust, reconcile their differences and lay the foundations for a stable and peaceful future. With support from the President of Senegal, the Foundation organised a meeting in Dakar on 11-13 May 2018 which enabled a wide range of Libyans to meet, many for the first time, and start a process of rapprochement which is essential if negotiations on a political settlement are to succeed. The Foundation is now working on a “Dakar 2” meeting.
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OUR CONSERVATION WORK
The Foundation has partnered with the NGO, Stop Ivory, to promote the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI). This initiative, launched by Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon and Tanzania, brings together African states, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, private sector and private citizens to work in partnership to protect African elephants by stopping poaching and the illegal ivory trade; and developing national actions plans which protect elephants and benefit people who live alongside them.
Today 19 member countries support EPI. The Foundation helped secure the agreement of the Republic of Congo to join the initiative.
The Foundation is also developing a major cross-border conservation project in Central Africa.