Agenda item 5, “WHO Reform”

Published on: 30 May 2013

WHO Executive Board, 133rd session

IFPMA Statement under agenda item 5, “WHO Reform” 

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

Check against delivery, 30 May 2013

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 accountability and transparency, we support establishing a platform to make publicly available information on all non-State actors in all type of relationship with WHO, including their objectives, membership, funding sources and declaration of interests. The current collaboration plans should also be made publicly available. All the above measures will help increase trust and perhaps also create new opportunities for partnerships.

We support full disclosure through issuing a declaration of interest so to create a solid basis on which to build collaborations in the future. We agree with the notion of “declaration” of interest contained in WHO’s background papers. Such concept makes clear that all parties have a defined interest when approaching global health policies.

Benefits of differentiation are unclear. 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.

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. Since the beginning of this century we observed a significant improvement in the way in which we talk to each other and work together. Successes in the achievement of the MDGs, including NTDs, and discussions on how we address the challenges of NCDs reflect this. We have learned and need to continue learning.

To achieve progress and avoid inefficient isolation and fragmentation, a new policy should be robust, transparent and fair so to facilitate dialogue and lay the grounds to achieve our shared goals in global health within a realistic timeframe to improve and save the lives of millions globally.