Legal and Regulatory Framework - UNDP

Legal and Regulatory Framework - UNDP

Information dated: 2017

Degol Hailu

Senior Advisor, Extractives Industries

UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa

Email: degol.hailu [at] undp.org

extractives [at] undp.org


Sarah Lister, Director

UNDP Oslo Governance Centre

Email: oslo.governance.centre [at] undp.org


Tenu Avafia

Policy Adviser, HIV, Health and Development

E-mail: tenu.avafia [at] undp.org

Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development

Growth of extractive industries can bring vital resources to finance social and economic development and the Sustainable Development Goals. There are however, risks associated with natural resource wealth. These relate to volatile economic growth; limited job creation; violent conflicts; corruption; environmental degradation; gender violence; and negative health impacts including the spread of HIV and AIDS.

In recognition of the far-reaching development impacts of the extractive industries, UNDP has adopted a Strategy for Supporting Sustainable and Equitable Management of the Extractive Industries which guides the organisation’s actions in this area. In line with the strategy, UNDP supports countries in the following main areas, working closely with governments, private sector, communities and civil society:

  1. Development of capacity for legal and policy formulation and its implementation, and national coordination for the governance of extractive industries:

    • Ensure extractive industry operations are environmentally and socially sustainable, ensure human rights are respected and contribute to the progress on the SDGs.

    • Align core business operations and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with national and local development policies

    • Preparation for negotiations and enforcement of large contracts

  • Ensure participation of communities in decision making to reduce the risks of marginalization, environmental degradation and conflict:

  • Strengthen monitoring and grievance mechanisms to address issues of concern

    • Institutionalization of conflict risk analysis prior, during and after extraction

  • Transparent collection and management of revenues from extractive industries, including:

    • Assessing and mitigating corruption risks in the extractive industries

    • Establishing mechanisms for revenue sharing between central and local governments to ensure fair benefits to populations in producing regions

  • Investing extractive industries’ revenue for sustainable development, including through:

    • Development of economic diversification strategies

    • Skills development and local employment opportunities including through enhanced local procurement and small enterprise development;

    • Strategies for investment of revenues from extractives in human, social and physical capital.

  • Strengthening productivity and sustainability of small scale mining, including:

    • The Development Minerals Programme provides policy guidance and capacity development for public and private actors in the mining of industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi-precious stones, benefiting more than 40 countries.

    • Mitigating and managing the environmental consequences of artisanal and small scale gold mining through improved technology, strengthened policy frameworks and enhanced business skills.

  • Research on relevant topics on the role of extractive industries in sustainable development and management of extractive industries related conflict. Current focus includes:

Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation, Trade and Access to Treatment

UNDP supports countries to integrate attention to HIV in national planning, gender equality and SDG efforts; promote enabling human rights and legislative environments to reduce vulnerability to HIV and strengthen governance and coordination of national responses; and strengthen implementation of complex, multilateral and multi-sectoral funds and programmes including those financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In addition to assisting improved access to Anti-retroviral treatment for HIV patients, UNDP extends its support to access to treatments targeting any disease or illness from which people in developing countries suffer, and against which they face challenges in securing access.

The growing need for new and improved medicines for HIV, and for a greater number of breakthroughs on neglected diseases prompted UNDP to interest on issues related to innovation. The WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on public health, innovation and intellectual property recognizes that while initiatives have been made in recent years to develop new products against diseases affecting developing countries, these initiatives are not sufficient to meet the access and innovation for needed health products. Countries are increasingly reconsidering the ways IP rights affect innovation incentives, as well as other layers of innovation – from access to scientific publications, the norms for data and material sharing, and the practices relating to patenting and licensing of inventions.

UNDP assists developing countries and LDCs to utilize the flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement to facilitate treatment access and ensure the long-term sustainability of treatment programs. Support is provided around the following four categories:


Policy and technical guidance

  • Reform national intellectual property legislation to ensure that TRIPS flexibilities are fully incorporated into national laws and regulations

  • Reform national patent laws in LDCs to put into effect the option of not granting pharmaceutical patents until 2016, as provided for in the Doha Declaration

  • Encourage regional cooperation in developing countries and LDCs to:

    • design intellectual property and trade policies that reflects the appropriate balance between promoting innovation and ensuring access to affordable generic HIV medicines for all who need them;

    • invest in regional and national productive capacity in the pharmaceutical sector and the development of local expertise; and

    • increase capacity in drug registration, to ensure the approval of high quality drugs, with preferential and expedited registration of medicines pre-qualified by WHO.


Training and enhancing capacity

  • Involve domestic stakeholders, including all relevant government ministries and civil society actors in decisions that concern intellectual property protection and public health.

  • Monitor and participate in the debate on alternative models for stimulating innovation that meet low and middle income country needs.

  • Develop and implement other mechanisms to contain and reduce the prices of medicines, including:

    • regional and sub regional pooled procurement of antiretroviral therapies and other essential medicines;

    • use of relevant pricing information during procurement negotiations with research and development and generic companies; and

    • elimination of taxes and tariffs where appropriate and consistent with countries’ broader strategic trade and industry policy objectives.

Monitoring and analysis

  • Monitor the inclusion of intellectual property provisions in bilateral trading agreements through regional observatories to enable opportune access to information for advocacy purposes.

  • Advocate for impact assessments of bilateral trade agreements to determine the impact of obligations, and to ensure the incorporation of the flexibilities contained the TRIPS Agreement, as recognised by the Doha Declaration.



Tenu Avafia

Policy Adviser, HIV, Health and Development

E-mail: tenu.avafia [at] undp.org