Statement | 8 February 2020 | Download PDF

HAI made the following statement to the 146th session of the WHO Executive Board, in which we addressed proposals for the reform of engagement between non-State actors (NSA) and the WHO governing bodies.

Thank you Chair,

Stichting Health Action International welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this discussion which is of such great importance for civil society and global health governance.

While we acknowledge that some aspects of non-State actor (NSA) engagement require reform, we are concerned that the proposals contained in the document being discussed are not aimed at the right targets and risk alienating relevant stakeholders.

We, together with several other Civil Society Organisations, are deeply concerned about the possible impact some of the measures might have on the participation and contribution of non-governmental organisations in governing body meetings, not least this one.

Specifically, we reject the distribution of non-State actors into constituencies according to their nature, making a de facto equivalence between corporate actors and public interest organisations.

Furthermore, limitations on the number of statements per meeting and per constituency would unfairly benefit those actors, such as foundations or trade associations, who are far fewer in number than non-governmental organisations.

Finally, we remain committed to finding a workable solution satisfactory to all legitimate parties and will always contribute to making WHO an even more inclusive deliberating body. We call on members of this Executive Board to postpone action on EB146/33 until an appropriate consultation involving both non-State actors and Member States is organised by the Secretariat ahead of the 73rd WHA.