Statement 23 January 2013

WHO Executive Board, 132nd session IFPMA statement under agenda item 5


IFPMA Statement under agenda item 5: “Key issues for the development of a policy on engagement with NGOs” 

Delivered by Mario Ottiglio, Director, Public Affairs & Global Health Policy

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important discussion today. IFPMA represents leading research-based pharmaceutical companies as well as national and regional industry associations across the world.

IFPMA believes that a new policy on engagement with NGOs should stress the importance of accountability as we deem it to be a key value for WHO and its members to determine and assess the tangible contributions of NGOs to WHO’s objectives.

To increase transparency, we support establishing a platform to make publicly available information on all NGOs collaborating with WHO, including the nature of collaboration, governance structure, source of funding, and declarations of interests. The current three-year collaboration plan should also be made publicly available. All the above measures will help increase trust and perhaps also create new opportunities for partnerships on key global health challenges.

The landscape of global health is both complex and diverse. Collaborative approaches are now integral to much of the work intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, and Public-Private Partnerships do.

We support full disclosure through issuing a declaration of interest. This tool would create a solid basis on which to build collaborations in the future. We agree with the notion of “declaration” of interest contained in paper EB 132/5 Add.2. Such concept makes clear that all parties have a defined interest when approaching global health policies.

On the point of differentiation, we believe that differentiation should not mean discrimination. We encourage Member States to take pragmatic approaches that reflect in equitable manner the value to global health that each of the NGOs, broadly speaking, non-state actors, brings — be it a patient or consumer group, an industry association, a disease-specific NGO, or a professional association.

A robust, transparent and fair policy will facilitate dialogue within the WHO stakeholder community, and it will lay the grounds to achieve our shared goals in global health within a time frame to improve and save the lives of millions globally.

Thank you.

Check against delivery, 23 January 2013


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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