The World Health Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the UN World Health Organisation, Saturday urged the industrialised world to promote research into diseases plaguing developing nations.
"Research and development of developed countries should better reflect the health needs of developing countries," said the adopted text.
Delegates from the WHO's 193 member states have been meeting at its supreme decision-making body's annual assembly here this week.
Plans were also laid to secure "adequate and sustainable financing" for research and delivery of medical products to address the health needs of developing countries.
A separate resolution related to the adopted text said that the WHO should take the strategy into consideration when developing its research plan.
WHO Director General Margaret Chan described the move as a "major breakthrough for public health".
"This is a contribution to fairness in health and this is pro-active public health at its very best," she said.
Non-governmental groups also welcomed it.
"Some important steps in the right direction have been made, said Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of Medecins Sans Frontieres access to essential medicine campaign.
He called for "serious steps to move forward with a set of practical proposals that are on the table", for example, by taking on proposals such as the creation of a prize fund to boost the development of tuberculosis diagnostics.
Delegates earlier approved plans for a new strategy to curb the harmful effects of alcohol as well as committed their own health ministries to take action to protect health from climate change.
The World Health Assembly meets each year in May in Geneva.