WHA 69, 11.3 Framework of engagement with non-State actors

Published on: 27 May 2016

WHA 69, Item 11.3 Framework of engagement with non-State actors

Delivered by Mario Ottiglio, Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Global Health Policy, IFPMA

IFPMA welcomes continued efforts to design a framework allowing WHO to fulfill its leadership role in global health and its mandate by engaging with a varied set of actors, while managing any perceived or actual conflict of interest. FENSA is an opportunity to reinforce WHO’s relevance in global health and to give an equitable voice to a vibrant community of public and private organizations whose shared goal is to make this world healthier. The 2030 agenda for sustainable development set a clear direction of travel: collaborative approaches are critical to address a complex landscape of shared challenges and goals.

However, while we believe that FENSA should ensure interactions continue to grow, the current draft framework still appears to be restrictive in a number of areas that could hamper non-State actors in their ability to fully contribute to global health outcomes. We believe that a strong focus should be put on equitable application of the provisions of this framework across different categories of non-state actors. Where conflicts of interests may arise, whether commercial or not, it is appropriate that these are managed in a robust, clear, transparent and equitable manner with all non-state actors. We call for transparent engagement with all non-state actors and accountability by all. These are key metrics for the WHO to assess tangible contributions to achieving its objectives.

In this respect, we suggest the FENSA to be stress-tested against existing best practice in WHO’s interactions with non-state actors so that we can witness its impact on important implementation work. At minimum, member states should consider a periodic review of this framework to ensure its relevance and to amend it as necessary if it becomes a barrier, rather than a facilitator in WHO achieving its objectives.

We would also welcome introducing flexibilities such as a phased approach to mitigate unintended consequences as well as exceptions that emergency situations dictate.